Huskies Take a Bite Out of Cougs

This is a story of two teams. The Washington Huskies played arguably their most solid conference game this season and defeated Washington State, 81-67. However, the Huskies team that defeated the Cougars tonight at home did not look like the same team that got swept by the state of Oregon last weekend. With the win tonight, Washington improves to 8-10 overall, and 3-6 in conference play.

"Playing at home is good news and bad news," said Huskies Coach Lorenzo Romar. "We play with energy and confidence. We do a better job defensively. On the road, we do well for one half. During the second half, we get distracted." The Huskies are 7-4 at home, and 1-6 on the road.

Play with confidence and energy was exactly what the Huskies did all night. With a rowdy home crowd rocking Bank of America for the majority of the night, the Huskies overcame what was their primary dark area the entire season. They overcame their source of frustration and major criticism.

They made their shots.

The Huskies had a decent first half, but it was the second half that got the game rolling in their favor. With a 38-30 lead at halftime, the Huskies came out of the locker rooms fired up and ready to play. After shooting only 43.8% in the first half, they shot 58.3% in the second half to pull away and never look back for the rest of the game.

Their hot shooting in the second half gave the team a total game average of 50% from the floor, which was a significant improvement over their previous best shooting night in conference play when the Huskies shot 41.4% against Arizona. It was also their best shooting night from three-point range as the Huskies made 7-12 from long range.

"We picked up the intensity in the second half," said Will Conroy. "Coach got on us at halftime and we came out ready to play."

Once again, it was the play from Washington's guards that led the way. Conroy led the team with 14 points and five assists, while Curtis Allen came off the bench and added 13 points and four assists.

Nate Robinson got his first career start in place of Allen and did not disappoint. Robinson, sporting a shiny new shaved head, brought the crowd to its' feet early by scoring the game's first points on a beautiful lay-in off of a Conroy in-bound pass.

"I think Nate Robinson gives them a lot of energy," said Cougars coach Paul Graham. "People feed off him and I always look at people as a team because it's a team game."

Robinson finished the night with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Doug Wrenn, coming off the bench for the second straight game, overcame a horrible first half in which he scored only one point on a free throw to finish with 11 points and led the team with seven rebounds.

Rainier Beach High School Reunion: There was a mini high school reunion on the court this evening and for once, it was not for Garfield High School. Rainier Beach High School had three alums playing in the game tonight with former Vikings Nate Robinson and David Hudson for Washington, and freshmen guard Randy Green, who is Robinson's cousin, for Washington State.

B-Roy Gets First Points: Brandon Roy finally got his first points of his collegiate career at the 7:34 mark in the first half. With the Roy family in attendance, Anthony Washington found Roy in the paint for an easy lay-up. Less than a minute later, the freshmen combination of Nate Robinson and Roy put on a show when Robinson dished out an assist to Roy for a slam-dunk on a fast break. Roy finished the night with six points in 14 minutes.

Young Dawgs Play First: The Huskies started the game with four freshmen and a sophomore in Nate Robinson, Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones, Anthony Washington, and Will Conroy. With Roy having a solid game off the bench, all of the Husky underclassmen accounted for 56 out of the team's 81 total points, which is roughly 69% of the total scoring output.

"When we decide on the five to start, we don't think about the fact that they are freshmen," said Romar of his youthful starting lineup. "The five guys that make the best team start."

Excitement at the End: The last minute of the game produced some of the most exciting and loudest moments of the game. With Washington State's Milton Riley attempting a dunk, Huskies center Marlon Shelton who had just entered the game, rose up and swatted the ball to a different area code, which drew an enormous response from the crowd.

At the other end, designated three-point artist David Hudson pulled up a three point shot from NBA range that got the crowd even more pumped up. With the final seconds ticking down, C.J. Massingale found himself with the opportunity to do a highlight-reel worthy windmill slam but missed a good-looking attempt at the buzzer. In the end, the crowd chant said it all: "Just Like Football"

Husky Stats: Scoring: Conroy 14, Allen 13, Robinson 11, Wrenn 11, Jones 9, Roy 6, Washington 6, Jensen 5, Hudson 3, Day 2, and Massingale 1

Rebounds: Wrenn 7, Allen 4, Robinson 4, Washington 3, Day 2, Jensen 1, and Shelton 1

Assists: Conroy 5, Allen 4, Robinson 3, Jensen 1, Jones 1, Washington 1, and Wrenn 1

Blocks: Washington 2, Jensen 1, Jones 1, Day 1, and Shelton 1

Steals: Jones, Jensen, Robinson, Washington, Day, Allen, and Wrenn, all had 1

Up Next: Washington continues their three-game home stand when they host Arizona Wildcats, who are currently the number one team in the nation, on Thursday, February 6th, and Arizona State on Saturday the 8th. The Huskies will be looking to avenge two losses from earlier in the season.

"This may be the biggest weekend of the season," said Romar of the two visiting Arizona schools. The Wildcats fell to Stanford last night and will more than likely drop a few notches in the rankings before their game against Washington. Tip-off will be at 7:30pm at Bank of America Arena. Top Stories