Feb. 11, 2006
SEATTLE - Justin Dentmon seems to thrive in big game situations.
The freshman point guard out of Carbondale, Ill., came up big on Saturday, hitting two clutch free throws with 8.1 seconds remaining to seal 21st-ranked Washington's 70-67 upset of No. 13 UCLA. Those two free throw attempts capped a 16-point total for Dentmon, who also added four rebounds and two assists against the first-place Bruins.
His point total was just one shy of his season-high 17, which came in the Huskies' key victory over then sixth-ranked Gonzaga on Dec 4. Dentmon proved to be clutch in that game as well. He scored 11 of the team's final 17 points against the Zags, including a critical three-point play with 1:24 to play.
Dentmon led all scorers at the half Saturday with 10 of the Huskies' 28 points. He continued to set the tempo at the start of the second after finishing off a pass from Bobby Jones with a fast break layin. Dentmon wouldn't score again until the end, netting what proved to be the two most important points of the game.
The presence of Dentmon at the line was somewhat of a reversal from his role in the game at Stanford on Jan. 29. In that contest all he could do was sit and watch as Chris Hernandez stepped to the line at the end of regulation to drain three tying free throws after being fouled by the UW freshman.
"I knew it was bothering him and I think what we are seeing here in the last three games is Justin Dentmon in the quietness of his own mind saying, `I'll make it up,'" Husky coach Lorenzo Romar said after Saturday's victory over UCLA.
Make it up he did, and at the end of the game he went to receive a well deserved hug from coach Romar.