Poor second half dooms Beavers
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 the bench 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 committed just four in the second half.
No. 18 Arizona St. 74,No. 11 UCLA 67
At Tempe, Ariz., Derek Glasser scored 15 points, including a clutch 3-pointer, and Arizona State defeated UCLA.
The Sun Devils hit 11 3-pointers, none bigger than Glasser's from the right corner with 1:12 remaining that gave Arizona State a 69-67 lead.
James Harden scored 15 points and had a career-high 11 assists as Arizona State (19-5, 8-4) became the first Pac-10 team to sweep the season series with UCLA since Washington in 2005-06.
When the game ended, Harden mounted the press table to wave to the hundreds of students who rushed the court.
Josh Shipp had 16 points and Darren Collison and Michael Roll each added 15 for the Bruins (19-5, 8-3), who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Arizona 83, USC 76
At Tucson, Ariz., Nic Wise sank a 3-pointer with 43.8 seconds, then made two free throws with 17.3 seconds remaining and Arizona pulled away to win its sixth in a row.
Wise scored 27 points, two shy of his career high. Chase Budinger added 25 for the Wildcats (17-8, 7-5 Pac-10), who blew an 18-point first-half lead but regrouped to finish the game with an 11-2 run.
Dwight Lewis made a career-high six 3-pointers but missed two crucial ones in the final two minutes. He scored 21. DeMar DeRozan and Daniel Hackett added 20 apiece.
for the Trojans (15-8, 6-5).
USC led 74-70 after Hackett's 14-footer with 3:35 remaining. But Budinger sank two free throws, then Wise stole the ball from Hackett for a breakaway layup that tied it at 74-74 with 3:20 to go. Budinger's two free throws with 2:10 to play put Arizona ahead 76-74.
Hackett scored on a driving layup and was fouled by Wise with 1:07 to play. But he missed the free throw and it was tied at 76-76.
Wise started to go up for a 3-pointer, then had to pull back to evade a defender. Then he put it up and scored to put the Wildcats ahead for good in front of a big, noisy crowd at McKale Center.
Kyle Fogg added 13 points for the winners. Wise was 4-of-5 on 3s, Budinger 3-of-4 and Zane Johnson 2-of-4. Lewis finish 6-of-9 on 3-pointers.
The Wildcats shot 59 percent and USC 56 percent.
USC scored the last eight points of the first half and the first eight of the second to go up 46-41 on consecutive 3-pointers by Lewis. The run to start the second half reached 15-4 when Leonard Washington scored inside to put the Trojans ahead 53-45 with 15:07 to play.
Arizona regrouped with a 16-3 outburst, Budinger finding Jordan Hill for a fastbreak dunk. Hill was fouled and the three-point play put the Wildcats ahead 66-61 8:51 from the finish. USC responded, scoring the next nine and the Trojans led 70-66 on Lewis' 14-footer with 4::55 to go.
The Wildcats made their first eight shots of the game, four of them 3-pointers, to go up 24-8.
They sank eight of their first nine 3s, 11-of-13 shots overall, to make it 33-15 on Wise's 3-pointer with 91/2; minutes to play in the first half.
USC outscored Arizona 23-11 the rest of the half, finishing with an 11-2 run that cut the Wildcats' lead to 41-38 at the break.