Brockman wins inside grudge match, Washington beat Utah, 83-77

Nov. 14, 2007

Final Stats

SEATTLE (AP) -- Jon Brockman set career highs with 31 points and 18 rebounds to lead Washington to an 83-77 victory over Utah Wednesday night in the second round of the NIT Season Tipoff.

Justin Dentmon scored 16 points, including a leaning, scooping shot in the lane that gave the Huskies the lead with 1:29 left and then two free throws that put the Huskies (2-0) up 78-75 with 50.3 seconds left.

Lawrence Borha missed an open 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 36 seconds remaining for Utah (2-1). Johnnie Bryant scored 18 points -- 14 in the second half -- before fouling out immediately after Borha's miss for the Utes.

Quincy Pondexter then hit two clinching free throws with 31.8 seconds left to send Washington, who went 19-13 and missed both the NCAA tournament and NIT last season, to New York for this tournament's semifinals Nov. 21 against Texas A&M.

The 15th-ranked Aggies beat UTEP 81-76 in College Station, Texas, Wednesday.

Brockman, an all-Pac-10 player last season who is taking over from now-NBA center Spencer Hawes as Washington's star, engaged in a throwback grudge match with Utah's 7-foot-1 center Luke Nevill. All night they traded arm bars across the shoulders, shoves in the back and banged into each other's guts to gain positions.

Brockman, five inches shorter than Nevill, shot over the Australian with turnaround jumpers and right-handed hooks. He released them so quickly that Nevill often remained on his heels and then helplessly watched the ball drop through the net.

Nevill fouled out with 4:39 left when Dentmon took an exaggerated fall while trying to box out Nevill. The play came on a turnover fastbreak that Luka Drca scored on to put Utah up 70-69.

But Brockman twice followed his own misses with rebounds before getting fouled and converting two free throws. That set up Dentmon's scooping, go-ahead score.

Washington led 51-41 after Brockman beat Nevill to the low blocks and converted the subsequent 3-point play with 16:33 left. But Utah went on a 10-0 run to tie it on a free throw by Borha.

Nevill started 4-for-4 from the field but did not score a basket over 14 1/2 minutes, from late in the first half until he got behind Brockman for a layup with 11:44 left to keep the Utes within 56-55, after they had trailed by 11.

Nevill picked up his fourth foul with 8:11 to go when he threw Brockman to the floor as Borha was making a 3-pointer to put Utah up 61-60.

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