Feb. 11, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) - Spencer Hawes stood tall against Stanford's twin 7-footers this time around.
In his first start in seven games following an ankle injury and the flu, Hawes scored 18 points, had seven rebounds and outproduced both Brook and Robin Lopez in the Washington Huskies' 64-52 win over No. 25 Stanford on Sunday.
Hawes, who's also a 7-footer, fouled out after just six points in 29 inconsequential minutes the last time the teams played - a 78-77 loss by Washington on Jan. 11.
"It's like two different people," Hawes said. "I feel refreshed. My energy's back."
As the big freshman departed following his final basket with just over two minutes left, he pumped both arms skyward while the fans cheered. The Lopez brothers - who combined for 13 points by each shooting 3-for-6 - simply watched without expressions, slumped into chairs on the Stanford bench.
They scored 29 while outplaying Hawes and Jon Brockman last month.
This time, Brockman's 14 points and 10 rebounds - his 11th double-double this season - helped Washington (16-8, 6-7 Pac-10) keep its flickering NCAA tournament hopes alive. The Huskies won for the fifth time in six games. They have also won nine of their last 10 home games against ranked teams.
After beginning Pac-10 play 1-6, they are 1 1/2 games behind Stanford (15-8, 7-5) for sixth place in a conference that may get six teams into the NCAA tournament. And three of Washington's final five Pac-10 games are at home, where it has won 54 of its last 57, beginning Wednesday night against 14th-ranked Washington State.
"I think we've put ourselves in a within striking distance. Before, we were just trying to dig ourselves out of a hole," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We've almost dug ourselves out."
Stanford is falling into its own abyss. Since beating then-No. 3 UCLA, the Cardinal has lost three of four. The last two have been ugly offensive meltdowns, beginning with a 45-point struggle at WSU on Thursday night.
Leading scorer Lawrence Hill missed all 10 of his shots in that loss. On Sunday, Hill scored 15 points - but he missed his first three shots during the initial 14 minutes of the second half, when the game turned. Hill took two shots over the half's first 12 minutes - his second thudded off the backboard, a foot to the right.
Meanwhile, the Huskies' two-point halftime lead increased to 46-38 on Ryan Appleby's first 3-pointer of the game. Appleby, who finished with 11 points, has a 3-pointer in all 23 Washington games this season.
Hawes' first 10 points of the second half turned the game into a 54-38 rout with six minutes left.
"We found out what our weaknesses are," Hill said, noting Washington outrebounded the taller Cardinal 39-20. "Despite how big we are, guys can still pound it inside on us and guys can still come out and rebound against all of us - guards included. When you do that, you can control the game."
The mismatch inside - and out - left Stanford coach Trent Johnson visibly agitated afterward.
"We got outworked. Every loose ball. Every rebound. Everything," Johnson said, looking as sour as he sounded. "They were the aggressors in every aspect of it.
"There's nothing wrong with this team. We lost to a really good team on Thursday and we lost to a better team today. Real plain and simple."
The night got worse for Stanford when a Washington player fell into sharpshooter Anthony Goods eight minutes into the second half. Goods, who was 1-for-6 shooting for three points, sustained a sprained left ankle. Johnson said more tests are due when the team returns home, but added, "It doesn't look good."
Hawes was all good, even when he failed. During one stretch, he had a shot blocked and missed a putback. But then he got another rebound and scored against the flat-footed Cardinal post players.
How would that sequence have gone last month at Stanford?
"I probably would have missed the first one, dribbled the second one out of bounds and then gotten a technical because I would have been so mad," Hawes said with a laugh.