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Washington routs Oregon State, moves to top of Pac-10

Feb 13, 2009 - 7:38 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- A slow start didn't keep Washington from taking over the top spot in the Pac-10.

Justin Dentmon scored a season-high 28 points, leading the 24th-ranked Huskies to a 79-60 victory over Oregon State on Thursday.

Dentmon hit 8-of-11 shots, including seven 3-pointers, and added a career-high seven assists while Quincy Pondexter had 11 points and seven rebounds for Washington (18-6, 9-3 Pac-10), which took over first place in the conference after sixth-ranked UCLA suffered a 74-67 setback to No. 18 Arizona State earlier Thursday.

"Dentmon had another phenomenal basketball game - passed it, scored it, hit big shots, played good defense. Played like a senior," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. "This game really concerned me coming into this game because I know what Oregon State is capable of doing. They play a different style and they're hard to play against.

"The game went a little bit like the game in Corvallis (an 85-59 victory on January 17) where it took our guys a little bit to settle down and really figure out how to play against them. Once that happened, we were able to slowly separate ourselves."

Calvin Haynes scored 15 points and Seth Tarver contributed 14 and seven rebounds for the Beavers (10-13, 4-8), who hit only 2-of-12 (17 percent) of their 3-pointers and suffered their third straight loss despite playing well in the early going.

"(Romar) is a good coach, he's got a good team and they play a certain way," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said. "We can't play that way yet; we don't have the personnel. We have to be much more creative in what we do to make them play our way. It worked for a while, but we just couldn't maintain it."

Oregon State was in control for much of the first half on the strength of a dominating inside presence. Seth Tarver's layup with 6:40 remaining gave the Beavers a 25-19 lead and an 18-2 advantage in points in the paint.

Oregon State pushed its lead to as many as seven points on Josh Tarver's layup with 4:55 remaining, but Washington responded with a 9-0 run to take a two-point advantage.

Dentmon started the run with a 3-pointer, the Huskies' first field goal in 5:45, and scored the final seven points of the half.

"It took us a while, because we were really trying to look for a home-run play," Dentmon said. "We were trying to make one pass and hopefully get a shot up, when we should've just moved the ball and looked for cracks in their defense and got more open shots."

Washington converted just 35 percent (9-of-26) of its shots from the field in the opening 20 minutes but carried a 36-35 lead into the locker rooms by outscoring the Beavers, 14-4, at the free-throw line.

Rickey Claitt's jumper to start the second half put Oregon State on top, but Jon Brockman's back-to-back layups sparked a 9-2 run that pushed the Huskies' bulge to 45-39.

"They really paid a lot of attention to detail on their defensive end and I think it caught us a little off guard how they were executing their defensive game plan and that 1-3-1 zone," Pondexter said. "We kept trying to work through it and noticed the little differences and just executed.

"We moved a lot better without the ball. We didn't try to make the home-run play. Passed a lot of the time and we were a lot more patient and therefore we got a lot of easy baskets by heading inside and finding the best 3-point shooter in the country right now, Justin Dentmon."

The Beavers trimmed the lead to three before going ice cold from the field. Following Seth Tarver's dunk with 14:55 left, Oregon State failed to hit a bucket for the next 6:13 as Washington's lead grew to an insurmountable 13 points.

"We had to do something different based on the loss last time," Robinson said. "It was working. And then we got out of our game plan, which was to impose our will offensively. We started taking some bad shots and throwing the ball away and the next thing you know with like 11 minutes to go we were right back to where we started."

The Huskies pushed their advantage to as many as 21 points down the stretch en route to their second straight victory, hitting 16-of-25 (64 percent) from the floor in the second half to finish the game at 49 percent.

"Oregon State does a great job, they really challenge you and do a good job of defending you with those zones," Romar said. "They play great, fundamentally smart basketball and if you make any mistakes, they burn you. In the second half we backed our pressure off a little bit and that cut down on some of those layups."