December 31, 1998
SEATTLE (AP) - Deon Luton scored seven of his 21 points down the stretch as Washington defeated Portland 81-72 in a very physical game on Wednesday night.
The game was tied for the last time at 60 with just over seven minutes remaining when Washington took charge with a 12-2 run.
Todd MacCulloch scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Washington (7-3).
Jimmie Rainwater scored 18 points and Ryan Jones 12 for Portland (6-5).
Tensions grew when Washington's Thalo Green suffered a cut to his head during a loose-ball scramble early in the second half. Green left the court to a loud ovation with blood streaming down his face.
Green received stitches and returned wearing a stocking cap with 18.8 seconds left in the game.
There were three ties and two lead changes in the second half before Washington's decisive late run.
The Huskies overcame terrible free throw shooting with an overwhelming number of opportunities.
Washington made 26-of-45 free throws to 9-of-14 for Portland.
The Pilots lost their eighth consecutive road game, dating to last season.
Washington holds a 9-1 edge over Portland in the all-time series.
Luton's 3-pointer with 2:49 left in the half gave the Huskies their biggest lead of the half at 37-26.
Jason Franklin and Travis Andrews each hit 3-pointers as Portland answered back with a 10-0 run.
The Huskies led 39-36 at halftime.