Huskies Cap Three-Game Homestand With Win Over EWU

Nov. 18, 2007

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SEATTLE (AP) - It doesn't matter to Jon Brockman how many points he scores this season. His focus comes down to one thing: how many games Washington wins.

Brockman, UW's 6-foot-7 junior forward, has the Huskies (3-0) off to a fast start this season. He scored 26 points in an 82-68 victory over Eastern Washington in a non-conference game on Sunday.

Justin Dentmon added 16 points for the Huskies while Eastern (1-3) was led by Adris DeLeon with 22.

Brockman, who made 13 of his 19 shot attempts, was coming off a career-high 31 points and 18 rebounds Wednesday in the Huskies' 83-77 win over Utah. He's averaging 23 points in three games, a considerable jump from his 14.2 ppg last season.

Brockman was a first team all-Pac-10 selection last season, but he still considered it a disappointment. The Huskies finished 19-13 but failed to earn a postseason selection for the NCAA or NIT Tournaments.

'I have some personal goals that I haven't even told my friends about, but my goal is just to win games,' Brockman said. 'My whole focus is getting this team ready, getting this team back to the (NCAA) Tournament, winning games again, the excitement.

'We have a group that can do that. We've just got to get better.'

The Huskies are definitely going to the NIT this season, but it's the Tip-off NIT version. Washington won two regional games last week to advance to the semifinals Wednesday in New York's Madison Square Garden. The Huskies play Texas A&M (3-0) with the winner advancing to Friday's finals against either Ohio State or Syracuse.

A preoccupation with the Big Apple perhaps caused the Huskies to lay an egg late in the second half against Eastern as the Eagles closed to nine points.

'That makes it difficult to play in a game like this when you're already thinking ahead to what's coming up,' Brockman said. 'But that's no excuse. You should be ready to play whenever.

'Give a lot of credit to Eastern. Down by 24, a lot of teams in the country at any level would have given up at that point. But they did a lot better than us in the second half.'

The Huskies built 22-point second half lead, 71-49, with 5:58 left. Brockman hit the bench at that point with the expectation that his day was over.

But over the next four minutes the Eagles rallied, going on a 15-2 run. They trailed by just nine, 73-64, with 2:08 left. Gary Gibson scored 10 of his 13 points during that stretch.

'I thought we lost a little concentration in the second half,' UW coach Lorenzo Romar said.

Brockman, who returned to the game with 3:15 remaining, held the Huskies steady as they pulled away in the final minute.

'He's a load down there,' first-year Eastern coach Kirk Earlywine said of Brockman. 'We knew that going into the game, and I wasn't sure that we were going to do anything to stop him or slow him down. ... There are a bunch of people in the Pac-10 that can't do much with him either, so we're not alone.'

Washington has won five straight over Eastern and has a 9-1 edge in the series. UW is 37-3 in nonconference home games under Romar, including 30 in a row since an 86-62 loss to Gonzaga on Dec. 3, 2003.

'It's behind us but now we have a big challenge in front of us in New York,' Romar added.

This will be the school's second appearance ever at The Garden. The only previous time was Dec. 30, 1941, when the Huskies beat New York University 72-38.

Eastern will play in the Great Alaska Shootout, opening against Virginia Tech Nov. 21.

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