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February 10, 2008

Sleeping in Seattle

SEATTLE(AP) Justin Dentmon, benched in favor of a freshman for most of the season, scored 20 points to lead previously wayward Washington to a 71-61 upset of No. 5 UCLA on Sunday.

Dentmon entered for the jittery Venoy Overton in the game's first minute and then took over for the Huskies (13-11, 4-7 Pac-10), who had lost four straight - the last three at home.

Jon Brockman added 12 points and 17 rebounds for Washington, which won its fourth consecutive home game against the Bruins dating to 2004. The Huskies are now 11-68 against teams ranked in the top 5, stretching back to 1950. Their previous win at home over such a foe was last March, against then-No. 2 UCLA.

Josh Shipp scored 19 points and Russell Westbrook had 18 for the Bruins (21-3, 9-2), who lost for the first time in six games and fell into a tie with Stanford atop the conference.

Washington's largest lead was nine, three times in the first nine minutes of the second half and again after consecutive baskets by Dentmon made it 65-56 with 2:14 remaining. But then the season-long problem for the worst free-throw shooting team in the Pac-10 - and one of the worst in the nation at 58.8 percent - let the Bruins back in it.

Darren Collison, 0-for-5 up to that point, hit a surprising 3-pointer to get the Bruins to 65-59 with two minutes to go. Washington's Tim Morris then missed two free throws and Shipp drove for a layup with 1:39 remaining to make it 65-61.

Dentmon then followed with another miss, the Huskies' eighth in 10 free throws, before he made one. Collison missed an open 3 and James Keefe had a putback try stolen by Morris with 47 seconds left. Morris was about to get called for a five-second violation on the inbound play but instead threw it off the face of Alfred Aboya and into the incensed UCLA bench.

Brockman scored after the Huskies' next possession, then Ryan Appleby made two free throws following a steal to put Washington up 70-61 and the upset - accompanied by a wild celebration - was back on again.

In one rousing afternoon, Washington turned around a season that seemed adrift after a blowout loss to Southern California on Thursday that Brockman called embarrassing.

Washington took a 51-42 lead with 10:52 left after consecutive baskets in the lane by freshman Matthew Bryan-Amaning and a pull-up jumper by Dentmon. That had Seattle SuperSonics rookie star Kevin Durant, Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham and the rest of a sold-out crowd roaring into UCLA's timeout.

Kevin Love, the Bruins' super freshman and leading scorer at 17.7 points per game coming in, missed five of his first seven shots while trading shoves with Artem Wallace. Wallace is two inches shorter than the 6-foot-10 Love, but continually used his comparable bulk to lean into the 271-pound Love on the low blocks.

Love finished with 13 points on just 3-of-8 shooting, with 10 rebounds.

The Huskies twice took eight-point leads in the first half, the second time after Wallace leaped over Love for a tip-in that made it 31-23 with 4 minutes left. Then Collison, who scored all 18 of his points in the second half Thursday in the win at No. 17 Washington State, traveled to get the home crowd roaring even more over a potential upset.

Collison missed the only shot he took and had six turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Then 34 seconds after halftime, he got a technical foul for yapping at Overton.

The Huskies opened up their first nine-point lead immediately after that. Collison, averaging 14.6 points entering Sunday, went 1-for-8 and finished with three points, four assist and eight turnovers in 38 minutes.



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