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Originally published January 18, 2015 at 9:48 PM | Page modified January 19, 2015 at 8:33 PM

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Huskies regroup, race past Ducks

The first half ended Sunday night with Oregon forward Dwayne Benjamin flushing a windmill dunk that put the Washington men’s basketball team in a 10-point deficit.


Seattle Times staff reporter

THURSDAY

Washington @ Colorado, 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

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The first half ended Sunday night with Oregon forward Dwayne Benjamin flushing a windmill dunk that put the Washington men’s basketball team in a 10-point deficit.

It was a miserable performance early on from the Huskies, who watched the Ducks pepper them on the perimeter with six three-pointers and beat them up inside with six dunks, including highflying Jordan Bell’s dramatic jam on 7-foot center Gilles Dierickx.

In the locker room, coach Lorenzo Romar spoke frankly with his team.

“We talked about how we were very fortunate to be down 10,” he said. “It could have easily been 20.”

In a game of runs, Washington began the second half with a 20-8 spurt to take the lead. The score was then tied twice before the Huskies outraced the Ducks for an 85-77 win in front of 6,912 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

“Once we stopped giving them so many open looks and we started rebounding the ball we were able to get out in transition and make it kind of a track meet,” said Andrew Andrews, who led UW with a career-best-tying 21 points. “UW has always been known for playing in transition and playing fast paced.”

Nigel Williams-Goss added 20 points and five assists for the Huskies (13-4, 2-3 Pac-12).

After a sluggish first half in which Washington trailed 42-32, the Huskies outscored the Ducks 53-35 in the second half. UW shot 65.5 percent in the second half after shooting 36.7 in the first.

“We’ve been in those situations all year long,” said sophomore center Robert Upshaw, who finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. “We just keep our composure. We just keep everybody together. Once we do that there’s nothing that can faze us.”

Mike Anderson capped UW’s 20-8 run early in the second with a three-pointer that put the Huskies ahead 52-50 with 13:14 left. It was their first lead since the 11:57 mark in the first half.

Tied 59-59, Washington ran off 11 unanswered points highlighted by Shawn Kemp Jr. cramming a highlight-worthy dunk over Bell, freshman backup forward Donaven Dorsey draining a three-pointer and Williams-Goss’ soft floater in the lane that gave Washington a 70-59 lead at the 6:38 mark.

A few possessions later, Dorsey stole a pass from Bell and raced for a dunk that put the Huskies up 74-61 — their largest lead of the game.

“Coach just preached that they’re outworking us,” said Dorsey, who finished with 13 points, including three three-pointers. “They’re going to the boards harder. They’re playing defense. They’re clapping and they’re together. That’s kind of what we have to do. We have to bring the tempo even higher than that.”

Oregon cut its deficit to 81-77 with 34 seconds left before Williams-Goss capped the scoring with four free throws.

The Ducks (12-6, 2-3) received 16 points from Dillon Brooks and 15 from Benjamin. Ahmad Rorrie, the former standout at Tacoma’s Lincoln High, chipped in six points and three assists.

Oregon senior guard Joseph Young entered the game averaging a Pac-12-best 20.1 points. However, the Huskies held him to eight points on 3-for-12 shooting.

“It was defense,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “You score 77 and they shoot 36 percent in the first half and 65 in the second, you can’t win with that on the road.”

After four straight defeats, UW finished its homestand with a pair of wins.

“Now that we have won these two we have a little bit more life now,” Romar said. “Hopefully we can get together and play well on the road.”

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com



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