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December 30, 2005Senior Brandon Roy should have had a giant "S" across his chest following Washington's 91-67 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils because he certainly played like a superhero for the Huskies.
Roy scored a career high 35 points and was a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc to help his Huskies overcome a rocky start to defeat the defending Pac-10 champion Sun Devils and keep their winning streak alive.
Perhaps it was conference-opening jitters for Lorenzo Romar's young Huskies, but Washington did not begin the game like a team worthy of a No. 7 national ranking. The Huskies managed only two points off of a pair of free throws by Justin Dentmon in the opening five minutes of the game while going 0-10 from the field.
"Arizona State was really physical," said Roy, who only made seven three-pointers all of last season. "Coach told us to shut up and stop complaining and hit them right back.
"I just wanted to come out and be aggressive," he added. "I think I missed my first three shots, but I knew if I stayed aggressive and took good shots, eventually they were going to fall for me."
Washington led by a slim 40-38 margin at half-time but Huskies returned to their dominant form in the second half. The Huskies went on 9-0 run while opening up a 50-38 lead to put an upset out of reach for the Sun Devils.
"We knew what they were going to do coming out of the half," said Arizona State head coach Rob Evans. "We knew they were going to try and come in and post up. We told our guys to stay on top of it and they didn't. (Washington) scored a couple of baskets and we come down and rebound the basketball and don't finish."
While Washington's shot may not have been falling early, the Huskies stayed in the game by taking care of the basketball. The Huskies recorded only three turnovers as a team and Dentmon, Washington's starting point guard, did not record a single one.
"That was definitely a first for me," said Dentmon, a freshman from Carbondale, Ill. I'm just happy to have played well in my first Pac-10 game."
Like Lehigh did last week, the Sun Devils kept the game competitive early by slowing down Washington's offense. The Huskies did not score any points off of fast breaks in the first half.
"We're so used to running up and down the court but this time we really had to break down the defense and run our plays," said Dentmon who finished the game with 11 points and four assists. "I felt like free-throws kept them in the game.
Both teams spent much of the evening at the foul line. The Sun Devils made 20-25 free throws while the Huskies sank 25 of 33 attempts.
Washington's improved dramatically as the game progressed. After beginning the game shooting 32.7 percent from the field, Washington made 57.1 percent of its field-goal attempts in the second half.
"That was a typical Washington-Arizona State basketball," said Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. "We got a little down on ourselves but our guys did an excellent job of maintaining their composure. We just played good solid basketball."
Kevin Kruger led the Sun Devils with 18 points while going 9-10 from the free throw line while teammate Bryson Krueger chipped in 13 points and five rebounds.
Washington forward Jon Brockman left the game midway through the second half after being elbowed in his right temple by Arizona's Chad Goldstein.
"I'm fine," said Brockman following the game. "I don't even remember how it happened said Brockman. "I just remember ending up on the floor. That's never happened to me before."
The Huskies responded by outscoring the Sun Devils 51-29 in the final 20 minutes. Jamaal Williams chipped in 12 points and three rebounds for the Huskies while Bobby Jones added 11 points. Brockman finished with six points and six rebounds before his early exit.
With the loss the Sun Devils drop to 6-4. The Huskies, meanwhile improve to 11-0 and extend its home winning streak to 32 games. "I cannot fault the guys on their effort," said Evans. "I thought they did a great job effort-wise. Just a good team like this, you can't let them go on runs."
Points: Roy 35, Williams 12, Jones 11, Dentmon 11, Smith 9, Brockman 6, Jensen 4, Appleby 3
Rebounds: Jones 7, Brockman 6, Roy 5, Dentmon 5, Smith 5, Jensen 4, Williams 3, Appleby 1, Gasser 1
Assists: Roy 4, Dentmon 4, Appleby 3, Williams 2, Smith 1, Jensen 1
Blocks: Brockman 2, Roy 2, Williams 1, Smith 1
Steals: Dentmon 2, Williams 1, Brockman 1, Roy 1
Turnovers: Jones 1, Williams, Smith 1