SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington coach Lorenzo Romar asked his leaders
They did Saturday night.
It was only the fifth time in 18 games the seniors were the top
three scorers for Washington (16-2, 5-2 Pac-10), which also starts
Malik Hairston scored 17 points and reserve Brandon Lincoln
added 12 for Oregon, which lost for the 13th time in 14 games
against ranked teams -- one week after it upset then-No. 24 Arizona
at home. The Ducks (10-9, 4-3) also saw their three-game winning
Washington, meanwhile, saw how leadership can work wonders.
And those seniors did more than score.
Williams continually harassed Malik Hairston defensively.
Oregon's leading scorer finished with 17 points -- but on 6-for-18
Roy, whom Romar calls Washington's "best on-ball defender,"
stymied point guard and Seattle native Aaron Brooks. Roy held the
man whom he has played with and against since third grade to four
points -- Brooks' lowest output in 17 games.
"This is the first night me, Bobby and Jamaal all got on the
same page. We were clicking," said Roy, the Huskies' leading
scorer at 18.2 points per game entering Saturday.
"We have made a conscious effort to come together and lead --
just because we think that's how our team can be its best."
The Huskies moved into a tie with UCLA for first place by
winning their fourth straight conference game since stunning,
consecutive home losses to Arizona and Washington State. They also
buried the unsightly reminders of Thursday, when they missed their
first 11 shots in a tedious win over Oregon State.
Williams had the most to bury. He scored just four points on
2-for-12 shooting against the Beavers. But he was 10-for-14 against
Oregon. He repeatedly made lofting, rainbow shots from the baseline
over flatfooted Ducks.
"I don't who that guy was playing the other night," Williams
said. "Tonight was the real Jamaal."
And these were more like the real Huskies. The national scoring
leaders, averaging 87.3 points per game coming in, cracked 70 for
the first time in three games.
The return to normal became apparent immediately; The Huskies
made their first three shots. Yet they trailed 20-16 midway through
the first half, as Oregon initially succeeded in controlling the
game with its new, deliberate, half-court style.
But then Williams made three straight jump shots to spark a 21-4
run that lasted until the final seconds before halftime. When he
left the game halfway through the run, Romar excitedly slapped him
on the backside and patted his back and head for turning the
coach's words into decisive action.
Jones had two 3-pointers and Roy added one to continue the run
and vault Washington into a 37-24 lead. The Huskies finished the
first half 16-for-32 from the field -- after beginning Thursday
Jones' layup and a 3-pointer put the Ducks in a 48-31 hole 2:45
into the second half. And when deep shooter Ryan Appleby made his
first 3-pointer in five tries with 10:47 to go, Washington was
cruising at 60-39.
"We talked about withstanding their initial run, the first five
minutes [after halftime], when they put a lot of teams away in this
building," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "In the second half,
things got away from us a little bit."
Oregon did rally to 66-55 with 6:22 left after five straight
points from Bryce Taylor. But the Ducks then missed a free throw
and committed a shot-clock violation on successive possessions.
The Huskies scored the next eight points to seal their fourth
straight win over Oregon.
Washington plays five of its next seven games on the road --
beginning next weekend at California and Stanford.
Which is largely why Romar had his leadership "discussions"
when he did.
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