Dentmon Leads No. 24 UW Hoops To Victory
Feb. 12, 2009
Seattle - Bolstering his case for Pac-10 player of the year consideration, Washington's Justin Dentmon matched his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 28 points, and the Huskies moved into first place in the Pac-10 Conference with a 79-60 win over Oregon State on Thursday night.
Washington (18-6, 9-3 Pac-10) now leads UCLA by a half game in the conference standings with a showdown between the two schools set for next Thursday in Los Angeles. Fortunately for Washington, Dentmon's performance and another solid effort off the bench from Venoy Overton staved off the Beavers' upset bid.
Calvin Haynes led Oregon State (10-13, 4-8) with 15 points, but the Beavers dropped their third game in a row following a four-game winning streak.
Washington's rise to first place wasn't easy
The scrappy Beavers answered every run Washington made, flustering the Huskies with their aggressive defense and taking advantage of a sloppy Washington effort on both ends of the floor.
It wasn't until early in the second half that Washington could create any space.
Dentmon's fifth 3-pointer, with 14:33 left, pushed Washington's lead to nine points. Overton finally broke the Beavers' scoring on consecutive drives to the rim to give the Huskies a 55-42 lead with 9:48 left. OSU got within nine on a few occasions, but Isaiah Thomas' four-point play _ layup and two free throws after an intentional foul _ gave the Huskies a 15-point lead.
Dentmon then capped his night with his seventh 3 with 3:18 left, tying the best performance of his career. He added seven assists and three rebounds. Quincy Pondexter added 11 points and Overton had nine points, six assists and five rebounds for the Huskies.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar praised his team's focus earlier this week. He knew it was needed against the Beavers. Romar encouraged his players and barked at officials all night, even throwing in a full pirouette at one point in the second Half on a questionable call.
The Huskies needed Romar's energy from theench after they were lulled into a slowdown game by the Beavers' unique zone defense. Washington's offense stammered in the first half, missing 14 of 15 shots during one stretch and seeing OSU build a 29-22 lead on Josh Tarver's basket with 4:53 left in the half.
Then the Huskies took off, thanks to Dentmon. His 3-pointer got Washington started on a quick 12-2 spurt, highlighted by Pondexter's lob dunk and capped by another Dentmon 3 for a 34-31 Washington lead. The Huskies led 36-35 at halftime, despite 10 turnovers. Washington had a total of 11 turnovers during the first meeting in Corvallis. Washington committed just four turnovers in the second half.