No. 16 Huskies Come Back To Beat Eastern Washington, 90-83

Nov. 24, 2006

SEATTLE (AP) - Justin Dentmon scored a career-high 23 points - 19 in the second half - to lead No. 16 Washington back from a 12-point deficit to beat Eastern Washington 90-83 Friday night.

Freshman Quincy Pondexter added 15 points and classmates Spencer Hawes and Adrian Oliver scored 14 each for Washington (5-0). The Huskies had five players score in double figures - and needed each of them to again escape their first nonconference home loss since December 2003 against Gonzaga.

The Huskies had trailed by 13 early against another Big Sky Conference team, Sacramento State, before coming back to win in their previous game.

Rodney Stuckey, the nation's leading returning scorer this season, scored 31 points on 11-for-25 shooting for the Eagles (2-3). But he went scoreless for nearly 9 minutes, until just 50.4 seconds remained in the game, while Washington finally seized control.

Eastern Washington is 1-11 against ranked teams. Its last win against a ranked opponent came in November 2001 against then-No. 10 St. Joseph's. The Eagles are 0-9 since - including 0-3 at Washington.

Eastern's victories this season have come against NAIA schools. Yet the Eagles led 47-35 late in the first half behind Stuckey's 21 points in the opening period. And they still led, 70-65, with 7:45 left on a 3-point basket by Omar Krayem, who finished with 18 points before fouling out.

But the slashing Dentmon scored 11 points over the next 7 minutes - including two free throws that put Washington up 86-79 with 55.5 seconds to go.

After Washington finally appeared to seize some grip on the game with a 62-58 lead 8 minutes into the second half, Eastern scored nine of the next 10 points to go up by four, 67-63. Stuckey had seven points during the first 10 minutes of the half, despite sitting for two minutes with three fouls.

Krayem then made a 3-pointer - and grabbed his jersey front to display his team name to the stunned crowd, to give the Eagles a 70-65 lead with 7:45 left. But Dentmon then provided his game-saving spurt.

Eastern Washington scored six unanswered points to take a 23-17 lead midway through the first half. But the Huskies responded with a 12-0 run, sparked by Oliver. He had a 3-point basket, drew a charging foul on Stuckey and forced a steal that Pondexter converted into a spinning jumper and 29-23 Washington lead.

But the Eagles scored 21 of the game's next 25 points. When Stuckey punctuated eight consecutive points with a whirling, flipped-in layup while getting fouled with 3 minutes left in the half, Eastern had a 47-35 lead.

But Washington scored the final 11 points of the half - the final three on Oliver's running, one-handed 3-point toss from about 40 feet out at the halftime buzzer. Washington jubilantly ran off the floor to the roars of its home crowd, which sensed correctly that the Eagles' upset bid was beginning to turn.

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