Nov. 15, 2006
By Brandon Blaska
SEATTLE -- In the heat of a back-and-forth game for the Basketball Travelers Classic title, Spencer Hawes showed the Husky faithful flashes of why he was Washington's highest rated recruit in the program's history.
Hawes, the freshman center out of Seattle, started slow, with only four points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half. However, he did bring the intangibles - getting the crowd into the game with a rim-rattling jam midway through the half, and following that up with a block of Northern Iowa Center Eric Coleman's shot attempt on the other end.
With starting power forward Jon Brockman forced to sit on the bench with four fouls just three minutes into the second half, Hawes decided to step his game up a notch down the stretch. Using every inch of his 7-foot frame, Hawes dropped in a hook shot to bring the Huskies to within two points with 5:48 remaining.
Hustling to the other end of the floor, he then recorded a crucial block and forced a loose ball foul on the defense to earn a trip to the free-throw line.
Despite having all of the pressure on his young shoulders, Hawes casually netted both free throws and brought the Huskies, who would never trail from that point on, even with the Panthers.
Just minutes later, with 2:31 remaining in the game, he would make another pair of crucial free throws to put the Huskies up by four and promptly record his third block of the night, tipping the ball to a streaking Dentmon, who put Washington squarely in control with a fast break lay in on the other end.
"(Spencer) is really good." Said Coach Lorenzo Romar. "If it wasn't the hook shot, it was the turnaround. And if wasn't the left hand, it was the right hand. He has a soft touch on it, and I was just waiting for one or two to miss, and he finally missed one, and we were still in the position to take the lead again. He is really good, as advertised."
Hawes finished the night with 16 points, on 6-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots, and, more importantly, can return home tonight knowing that he was a major part winning his first trophy with the Huskies.
Should he continue to persist and work as he did on Tuesday, it certainly won't be the last.