Jan. 26, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) - Justin Dentmon, benched for the last month for erratic play, scored 24 points and had seven assists to lead Washington to an 89-77 victory over No. 7 Oregon on Thursday night.
Ryan Appleby had 16 points and Spencer Hawes added 15 on a bad ankle as the Huskies (12-7, 2-6 Pac-10) overcame Dentmon's six turnovers. Washington has won eight of its last nine home games against ranked teams.
No Pac-10 team has ever made the NCAA tournament without a winning conference record. Washington must win eight of its last 10 games inside the Pac-10 to finish 10-8 in the league. The Huskies now have wins over then-No. 12 LSU and the Ducks.
Bryce Taylor scored 19 points to lead Oregon (18-2, 6-2), which was playing without the suspended Aaron Brooks, the Pac-10's scoring leader. The Ducks' sixth straight loss in Seattle, and first road loss in seven games this season, ruined their best start in 80 years.
Their 1926-27 team started 24-1. That was also the last time Oregon began 7-1 in conference play.
Brooks, averaging 18.4 points per game, sat out as his final penalty for elbowing Appleby in the face during a conference tournament game last March. The Pac-10 suspended him for the conference semifinal game last spring. Oregon then suspended the Seattle native for this season's opener and Thursday's first of two meetings against Washington.
Malik Hairston, Oregon's third-leading scorer, had three fouls in the first half and didn't take a shot until 16 minutes remained in the game. His second of two consecutive 3-pointers gave the Ducks a 60-59 lead.
Oregon then scored just one basket over a 7-minute stretch against a zone defense - yet trailed just 70-69 on a follow by Hairston with 7:22 left.
Washington responded with an 11-2 run that broke the game open. Jon Brockman, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, was 6-for-6 from the line in the spurt. And Dentmon's work - a bad turnover immediately followed by a good steal - typified his night.
The unpredictable Dentmon had started only one of the previous six games, but with 7-footer Spencer Hawes dragging a sprained right ankle across the floor Washington needed Dentmon's hyper, driving style to be effective again.
Dentmon had just one field goal in 30 minutes off the bench Saturday during Washington's dreadful, 75-47 loss at Washington State. He surpassed that total in the first 55 seconds on Thursday.
And he wasn't just scoring. Phil Nelson slammed down Dentmon's lob pass and Spencer Hawes banked in another assist from Dentmon to give Washington its largest lead, 46-34, with 3 minutes left in the first half. The Huskies took a 51-40 lead into the break, despite Oregon shooting 56 percent in the opening half.
Chamberlain Oughi, who burned the Huskies for 22 points in the game Brooks was ejected from last spring, started in his place. Oughi was benched 3 minutes into the game and sat for 10 minutes. But his third 3-pointer of the second half gave Oregon a brief, 63-59 lead with 14:22 to go. He finished with 15 points.