Dec. 4, 2008
SEATTLE (AP) -- Young Washington just picked up revenge to go with its ongoing reawakening.
Freshman Isaiah Thomas scored 18 points and rugged Jon Brockman pounded smaller Oklahoma State inside with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Washington avenged a 25-point loss last December to the Cowboys with an 83-65 victory on Thursday night.
"All I can say is: payback. Big time," senior guard Justin Dentmon said after he scored 14 points for the Huskies (4-3) _ including a circus shot during the game's decisive run midway through the first half. "This is one team I circled on my calendar."
And one that is circling the drain right now.
Obi Muonelo scored 18 points for Oklahoma State (5-3), which lost for the third time in four games. The Cowboys lost to Gonzaga and Michigan State last week.
Cowboys leading scorer Terrel Harris scored only 10 points, eight below his average coming in. And second-leading scorer James Anderson picked up his third foul in the first half and finished with a season-low 7 points on 3-for-12 shooting. He had been averaging 17.5 points per game.
OSU coach Travis Ford lamented the Cowboys getting exploited inside due to their relative lack of size.
Then again, a lot of people feel that way after getting slammed by Brockman.
Brockman got his fourth double-double in seven games this season and the 44th of his 104-game career for the inconsistent Huskies, who had their most impressive showing of the young season. It was their only remaining true test before the Pac-10 season begins next month.
The Huskies showed patience against Oklahoma State's zone with extra passes to open men. Against the zone defenses opponents have used to double- and triple-team Brockman inside, Washington has often rushed shots and quickly fallen behind _ especially in the loss to Kansas.
"The losses woke us up," Dentmon said, agreeing with coach Lorenzo Romar. "We should have been awake from the beginning of the season. All I can say is our eyes are open now."
Brockman was awakened by an errant hand to his face and mouth while stripping one of his six rebounds of the opening half from a Cowboy.
"It got me pretty good," he said, his left eye red and his lips swollen as if he was wearing a mouthpiece. "The guys responded to it. I responded to it."
The Cowboys led 11-9 early. Romar screamed at his players to "Get it inside!" on offense while throwing his arms toward the lane. The Huskies obeyed and went on a 19-6 run to take a double-digit lead.
During the spurt the Cowboys lost Anderson to the bench for the final six minutes of the half because of his third foul, for hitting Thomas on a desperation 3-point jumper while the shot clock was expiring.
Dentmon had the most electric play of the decisive half, off a steal by freshman Elston Turner. Dentmon made a hanging circus shot that he completed by crashing into a defender and then the floor. That put Washington up 39-26 with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
The Huskies dominated the game inside by out-rebounding the Cowboys 24-14 in the first half and 44-31 for the game.
The lead grew to 22 early in the second half, as Oklahoma State missed five of its first seven shots after the break and never got closer than 14 points in the final 14 minutes.
"We talked about making progress," Romar said. "And I think we made progress."
Washington honored former Huskies pitcher Tim Lincecum on the floor at halftime for winning the NL Cy Young Award with the San Francisco Giants this past season. The diminutive Lincecum looked even smaller in bagging dark clothes and a gray knit cap pulled down near his eyes while he sheepishly accepted thunderous applause for what the public address announcer declared was the highest individual honor a former Husky had received in the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball.