UW Advances to Top of the World Championship Game
Nov. 17, 2001
FAIRBANKS, Ak. - Sophomore Doug Wrenn amassed 19 points and nine rebounds in his Washington debut, helping the Huskies advance to the championship game of the Top of the World Classic with an 81-74 semifinal victory over Bowling Green at the Carlson Center.
The Huskies (2-0) play for the tournament title on Sunday at 8 p.m. Pacific Time against the winner of Saturday night's Butler-Delaware contest.
Bowling Green, which posted an 82-78 overtime decision over Mississippi in the first round, evened its record at 1-1.
A transfer from Connecticut, Wrenn made 6-of-12 shots from the field and hit 7-of-10 free throws. The product of Seattle's O'Dea High School was held out of Thursday's opening round 82-70 win over host Alaska Fairbanks while serving a one-game suspension due to a minor NCAA violation.
The game marked the return to the bench of head coach Bob Bender who remained in Seattle during Thursday's season-opening game while nursing a bruised rib that he suffered on Monday. Bender was not his usual animated self on the sidelines as he sat for the majority of the game while still dealing with a great deal of pain.
The Huskies scored the final five points of the first half, including a steal and layup at the buzzer by Curtis Allen that put them ahead 31-27.
With the teams tied at 55-55 with 9:12 left to play, Washington took the lead for good on the strength of an 8-2 run that included a steal and layup by freshman Mike Jensen followed by an Allen 3-pointer.
The Falcons drew within 73-70 on a pair of free throws by Len Matela with 1:56 remaining, but Washington converted 6-of-8 free throws during the final 1:40 to secure the win.
David Dixon contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies who outrebounded Bowling Green 36-28.
Jensen scored six points in his collegiate debut, hitting all three of his shots from the field.
Keith MacLeod scored 22 of his 28 points in the second half to pace the Falcons. Matela finished with 15 points and Josh Almanson added 10.
Following Sunday's game, the Huskies return to Seattle for their first regular-season home game. They host Santa Clara on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m.