Huskies outgun Beavers' zone

SEATTLE - There's one sure way to move a team out of a zone: Shoot it. That's just what Justin Dentmon did Thursday night, as his 28 points led the Washington Huskies to a 79-60 win over Oregon State at Bank of America Arena.

With the win, Washington (18-6, 9-3) moved once again into first place over UCLA, who lost at Arizona State earlier in the evening.

The 28 of Dentmon was a home-high for the senior guard from Carbondale, Ill. His previous season and career-high of 30 came in a 106-97 loss at Arizona. He also added seven assists, just one short of his in-conference career-high, which took place three years ago against the Beavers. Quincy Pondexter was the only other Husky to finish in double-digits, scoring 11.

Calvin Haynes led Oregon State (10-13, 4-8) with 15 points, followed by 14 for Seth Tarver and 13 for Roeland Schaftenaar.

Just like they did in Corvallis, the Beavers went to an extended 1-3-1 trapping zone, and it initially caused the Huskies fits. They turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and were held to 36 percent from the field (9-25). On top of that, they were outscored in the paint 26-6, something you never see from a Washington team known for it's frontcourt play.

"Oregon State does a great job; they really challenge you and do a good job of defending you with those zones," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They play great, fundamentally smart basketball, and if you make any mistakes they burn you."

If it wasn't for 14 made free throws and an electric alley-oop dunk by Pondexter off an assist from Dentmon, UW could have found themselves in a real predicament.

"I think they came out with way more effort," Dentmon said of the Beavers. "Second-half of Pac-10's, they play more aggressive, their zone was more active. I think (Seth) Tarver set the tone for their defense in the first half."

But the home team took a one-point lead going into half, and pushed their advantage to nine by the second intermission, mostly by penetrating the zone and getting baskets inside and out. Overall, they shot 64 percent in the second half of play, going 16-25 from the field. They were able to involve senior forward Jon Brockman for a couple quick layins, and Dentmon hit two 3-pointers in that key stretch.

Two layins by Venoy Overton gave UW a 13-point lead, forcing Robinson to call a timeout with 9:48 left in the game.

"Venoy Overton really helped us," Romar said of the sophomore guard from Franklin. "Another game where he just provided a lot of energy for us. That's two in a row where he's done that. He's playing good basketball."

Oregon State would try and bounce back, but a strong second-half effort defensively by the Huskies would not allow them to get any closer than nine. An Isaiah Thomas layin, coupled with an intentional foul by Haynes, moved UW's lead back to 13, and then Dentmon finished his scoring off with two more bombs, the last one coming off the dribble that found nothing but net.

"Justin Dentmon had another phenomenal basketball game - passed it, scored it, hit big shots, played good defense," Romar said. "Played like a senior."

Overall, Washington shot 53 percent from deep (8-15) and 50 percent from the field.

"This game went a little bit like the the game in Corvallis where it ook our guys a little bit to settle down and really figure out how to play against them," Romar said. "Once that happened, we were able to slowly separeate ourselves."
Statistics:
Points: Dentmon 28, Pondexter 11, Thomas 9, Overton 9, Brockman 8, Holiday 4, Turner 4, Gant 2, Suggs 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Wallace 1
Rebounds: Pondexter 7, Brockman 5, Overton 5, Dentmon 3, Holiday 3, Turner 3, Thomas 2, Wallace 2, Gant 1, Suggs 1
Assists: Dentmon 7, Overton 6, Thomas 2, Pondexter 1, Gant 1
Steals: Brockman 1, Dentmon 1, Overton 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Turner 1
Blocks: Overton 1, Turner 1

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