Huskies Open Pac-10 Play With Win Over Cal, 81-67
Dec. 31, 2004
By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE - Tre Simmons scored 18 points and Bobby Jones had 16, leadingfive Washington players in double figures as the No. 13 Huskies beat California81-67 Friday in the Pac-10 opener for both schools.
Will Conroy and Jamaal Williams each scored 11 points and freshman JoelSmith added 10 as Washington (11-1) extended its home-court winning streak to14 games, the longest in six years.
Richard Midgley led California (7-4) with 18 points while Marquise Katelyscored 15, Rod Benson had 12 and David Paris 11. The Golden Bears had won sevenof nine previous games against Washington.
The Huskies also won their seventh straight overall, the most since 1990-91,but it wasn't as easy as the final score suggested.
The Huskies had to grind out a victory and overcome a nine-point effort bystandout guard Nate Robinson, outlasting the Bears after Cal tied it at 60 on ajumper by Kately.
The Bears went ahead 61-60 with 8:46 remaining on a free throw by DeVonHardin, but that's when the Huskies organized a decisive 10-0 run.
Williams made free throws and a nice reverse layup, and Washington led 64-61at the 8-minute mark. Jones added a free throw and Simmons hit two more to giveWashington a 67-61 lead with 6:15 to go.
Simmons made a three-point play, and Jones was the beneficiary of agoaltending call and an unselfish feed from Conroy in the open lane. Soon, theHuskies were safely ahead 74-64 with 3:47 remaining.
Washington had scored 224 points in its two previous games, the highesttwo-game total in school history. After beating Sacred Heart 114-53 and Houston110-63, the Huskies led the nation at 91.6 points per game.
The Bears trailed 41-32 at halftime but cut it to 47-42 early in the secondhalf with three straight baskets by Dominic McGuire, Paris and Benson. Momentslater, Midgley tied it at 49 on a 3-pointer with 13:26 to play.
California led for the first time at 53-51 after two free throws by KevinLangford with 12:23 remaining. Midgley's 3-pointer put the Bears ahead 56-53with 11:19 to play, and Hardin added a free throw to make it 61-60 with 8:46 togo.
It was closer than the Huskies and their vocal sellout crowd of 10,000 fansprobably expected, especially since the Bears have been without injuredstandouts Leon Powe and Ayinde Ubaka for most of the season.