Huskies handle Cardinal down the stretch

After a wild and crazy afternoon at the Bank of America Arena, the hometown crowd went home happy as the Huskies staged a dramatic win over the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 73-68. It was a seesaw game with 10 moments where the teams were tied, and 14 lead changes, but the young Huskies remained poised and kept their heads in the game to come out on top at the end.

"I'm very, very proud of our guys today," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. "They handled themselves well in terms of the basketball game. This is the kind of victory we need in the Pac 10, especially at home."

Stanford came into the game with a 10 game winning streak over Washington. The last time the Huskies topped the Cardinal on the basketball court was February 22, 1997 when Washington defeated Stanford by a score of 75-61 at home.

Will Conroy had another fabulous day on the court for the Huskies. Conroy led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals for the game and led all scorers with 19 points by hitting a combination of clutch three pointers, crucial free throws, and grabbed eight rebounds on the way.

"I think something that made a huge difference tonight was our ability to knock foul shots down," said Romar. "That was huge. With the game being so close, we needed every one of them."

The Huskies went to the line 29 times and turned them into 23 free points. Doug Wrenn, who finished with 16 points, made four of six at the line to have a decent day. On the other side, Washington did a good job of keeping Stanford away from the foul line. The Cardinal only took 15 trips to the charity stripe.

However, it did not look like Stanford needed the free throws to stay competitive. Stanford's Matt Lottich scored 13 points in the first half and hit three of four three-pointers. For a while, it looked like Stanford would rely heavily on Lottich's hot shooting in the second half to pull out a victory. However, with about a minute to go in the first half, Lottich committed a crucial technical foul that may have changed the momentum as the half closed out.

Lottich would get into foul trouble in the second half and saw limited play to score only two more points for the duration of the game. All was not lost however as Josh Childress would then take over as to go-to guy for Stanford. After being kept quiet in the first half, Childress scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to do his part.

But Washington would not let any scoring from Stanford go unanswered tonight. A three-pointer from Conroy from the baseline with 9:18 to go in the game erased Stanford's lead for good.

After exchanging ties a couple more times for dramatic effect, Mike Jensen hit a three pointer from the right side to make the Hec Ed crowd go nuts and gave Washington the lead for good.

The drama was not over by a long shot though, not when the lead was only four points with 2:30 left. After Conroy's inbound pass went awry, Stanford stole the ball for a two-on-one opportunity. Lottich pulled up for a shot but out of nowhere, Wrenn came in out of nowhere with a monster swat to preserve the Washington momentum.

"Everybody says I saved the game, but I just tried to get back on defense," said Wrenn. "Coaches stress getting back on defense and helping your team mates out and that's what I wanted to do."

Stanford had one last shot to tie the game. Down by three with 19 seconds to go, Stanford's Julius Barnes shot a three pointer that was just barely off. A mad melee broke out for the rebound, with the Huskies' Anthony Washington pulling in the important defensive rebound. Washington was immediately fouled and with 7.8 seconds to go, hit both of his free throws to seal the victory for the Huskies.

Century Mark for Romar: Lorenzo Romar finally got his 100th career coaching victory. His seven-year coaching record is now 100-96 at Pepperdine, St. Louis, and Washington.
What the heck was THAT?: At the 12:38 mark in the first half, Doug Wrenn pulled up for a jumper on the right side only to see it rattle in and out. However, out of the sea of red jerseys waiting for the rebound on the ground, a flash came in and slammed the ball home to drive the crowd absolutely nuts. Rumor has it, that Nate Robinson was the culprit

Roy-al Debut: The question of whether or not we would see Brandon Roy this season was answered at the 2:28 mark in the first half when the Garfield HS product entered the game to a huge ovation. "He (Romar) never officially told me that I was going to play," said Roy. "I felt really comfortable out there on offense and the defense. I'm just going through a learning process that's all." In five minutes of playing time, Roy scored 0 points, committed one foul, and turned the ball over three times including a basket interference call.

Target of the Dawg Pack: The "Dawg Pack" Student section chose Stanford Josh Childress as their heckling target tonight. Every move Childress made was followed by chants from the crowd such as, "You got swatted," "Air-Ball," and they even had a countdown going every time he was at the line to shoot a free throw.

Husky Stats:
Scoring: Conroy 19, Wrenn 16, Robinson 13, Allen 7, Jones 7, Jensen 7, Washington 4

Rebounds: Conroy 8, Jones 7, Robinson 6, Jensen 3, Wrenn 2, Washington 2, Day 2, Massingale 1

Assists: Conroy 4, Day 4, Robinson 3, Wrenn 1, Washington 1, Allen 1

Blocks: Wrenn 2, Jones 1, Massingale 1, Day 1, Jensen 1

Steals: Conroy 3, Jones 1, Washington 1, Jensen 1 Top Stories