for this game

Dentmon steps up as Washington downs Arizona State

Feb 1, 2009 - 4:55 AM TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Justin Dentmon made sure that the two-game trip to The Grand Canyon State did not put Washington in a hole in the Pac-10 standings.

Dentmon scored a career-high 30 points as Washington knocked off No. 14 Arizona State, 84-71, on Saturday.

Bouncing back from a 106-97 setback at Arizona on Thursday, the Huskies (16-5, 7-2 Pac-10) held onto a share of the league lead with UCLA, which rolled over Stanford earlier Saturday.

Washington, which won for the fourth time in its last five, does hold the tiebreaker with UCLA, winning 86-75 at home in the first of two meetings last Saturday.

The Sun Devils started the game by scoring eight of the first 12 points, but Dentmon took over later en route to putting up 18 in the first half. The senior guard hit all four of his 3-pointers during a 15-2 run for a 27-14 advantage with 7:57 remaining.

Dentmon finished 6-of-9 in the first half for 18 points as the Huskies held a 41-29 cushion at the break.

"Shoot, you are open," Dentmon told the Seattle Times about his thoughts during the first half. "Just shoot it, since I have the hot hand."

Meanwhile, the Sun Devils' top player and Pac-10's top scorer, James Harden, was held to five points on 1-of-2 shooting.

Washington redshirt freshman Darnell Gant drew the assignment of slowing down Harden.

"They told me deny, and if he does catch the ball, back off him a little bit," Gant told The Arizona Republic. "But if he gives it up, pressure him."

"We wanted to put someone with size on him because he is so strong and powerful," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar told the Times.

Arizona State (16-5, 5-4) did attempt to rally behind Harden, closing within 74-68 after Derek Glasser made three free throws with 1:58 left.

But Washington converted all eight of its free throws and Isaiah Thomas added a jumper to improve to 2-2 against ranked teams this season.

Dentmon finished 8-of-12 from the field and converted 10-of-11 free throws. The freshman Thomas added 25 points, falling two points shy of tying a season high.

Thomas' effort continued a disturbing trend for the Sun Devils, who surrendered 28 points to freshman Klay Thompson in Thursday's 65-55 loss to Washington State.

"We've got to step up and not let stuff like that happen," Arizona State forward Jeff Pendergraph told The Republic. "Especially at home. And freshman, too. That's so frustrating. You can't let some dude that's barely finished his 100-level classes come in here and kick your butt. That's embarrassing."

Pendergraph scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. Harden ended up with 10 of his 15 points after halftime for the Sun Devils, who have five days off to regroup before taking a road trip up north to Oregon and Oregon State.

Glasser added 11 points but went 2-of-14 from the field for Arizona State, which shot 41 percent (24-of-59), including 6-of-23 on 3-pointers.

"We had a very difficult time in transition where we turned the ball over too much in the first half and took some ill-advised shots," Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek told the Times. "That led to the court being scattered, and those guys are good in that situation. In the half court, they did a good job taking us off the dribble. Those two guys (Dentmon and Thomas) were really good."