Dawgs swat Utes

  • Associated Press
  • Thursday, November 25, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Nate Robinson helped stake No. 22 Washington to a big lead early Thursday night against Utah, then helped stave off an upset at the end.

Robinson scored 29 points, including eight in the final five minutes, and the Huskies defeated Utah 78-71 in the quarterfinals of the Great Alaska Shootout.

After the Utes tied the score at 66-all with 2:50 left, the Huskies scored nine straight points to take control. Robinson, held to two points for nearly 15 minutes of the second half, hit three big baskets down the stretch to thwart Utah’s rally.

Utah’s Andrew Bogut, a 7-foot center who is also a member of Australia’s Olympic team, scored 23 points, including 19 in the second half as the Utes erased an 11-point deficit. He also led the Utes with 12 rebounds.

Brandon Roy added 25 points for Washington (2-0).

Robinson hit his first five 3-point attempts en route to 19 first-half points.

He was also part of a suffocating defense that forced three turnovers and two 5-second violations in the first five minutes as Washington charged to a 16-3 lead. Utah (1-1) attempted just six shots in the first eight minutes.

Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said the Utes tried to duplicate Washington’s pressure in practice this week.

“You just can’t unless you face it,” Giacoletti said.

Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar knew coming in that the Utes like to dictate a deliberate offensive pace.

“Our only hope tonight was to try and pressure them as much as we could and not allow them to just move the ball around the horn at will against us,” Romar said.

Behind six points by Justin Hawkins, the Utes used a 10-0 run to close within 21-19 midway through the first half.

After a timeout, Washington came out strong. Roy hit a reverse layup and Robinson hit two 3-pointers to push the lead back to double digits.

In the second half, Utah chipped away at the lead and tied it twice, the last at 66-all with 2:50 remaining. But Robinson answered, the first time with a 12-foot jump shot and then with a drive through the post.

Romar said when Robinson was younger, he would have just kept shooting after missing shots early in the second half. On Thursday, Romar said, Robinson showed patience.

“He played within himself, but then down the stretch when we needed a bucket he turned it on again,” Romar said. “And great players are able to do that. He picked his spots and when there were openings he was able to come through for us. He made big baskets.”

Romar was relieved to escape with a win against Bogut and his teammates.

“That’s a good basketball team. We’re talking about one of the top one or two big men in the country in Bogut,” Romar said. “Once he got going in the second half I though we were able to see what he was capable of doing and that’s without a whole lot of touches.”

By Rich Myhre

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – A recent 10-day, six-game road trip to the East Coast and Midwest was supposed to be a big test for the Seattle SuperSonics.

A test they passed, it would seem, with flying colors.

When Seattle left town on Nov. 15, there may have still been some skeptics who were unimpressed with the team’s six-game winning streak and an overall 6-1 record. But when the Sonics returned to the Northwest after Wednesday night’s 93-84 road victory vs. Memphis, a decision that gave them five wins in six outings on the trip and an overall 11-2 mark, they almost certainly had a bevy of new believers.

They are, without question, one of the top surprises of the young NBA season. And on a team with many heroes – ”It’s been the type of season where (different) guys are stepping up and making plays,” said coach Nate McMillan – no one has stood taller than All-Star guard Ray Allen.

One year after beginning the season on the injured list because of a foot injury, Allen is playing some of the best basketball of his nine-year pro career.

Despite a disappointing shooting game against Memphis – he was just 4-for-15 from the field and 1-for-6 from the 3-point line – Allen’s hot hand has been a primary reason the Sonics have been so successful. Through 13 games he is averaging 24.8 points a game, which would be a career best if he was to continue that pace. He is shooting .465 from the field, which would be his second-best career percentage. He is shooting .465 from the 3-point stripe and .932 from the foul line, and both would easily be career bests.

”He is definitely one of the top shooters in the league,” McMillan said. ”I haven’t paid attention to what all the other shooters doing, but with Ray you just don’t expect him to miss. I don’t take for granted what he does, but he knocks down such a high percentage of shots that when he misses you’re kind of surprised.

”If he’s not the best shooter in the league, then he’s got to be in the top three. And I can’t think of anyone who shoots the ball as well as he does.”

One could argue that Allen is getting good looks at the basket because Seattle is getting better play around the basket. One could also make the case that Allen’s sizzling start has opened up the middle for players like Rashard Lewis, Danny Fortson, Reggie Evans and Vlade Radmanovic.

The real answer, McMillan believes, is a combination of both.

”Ray is playing well,” he said, ”but the guys beside him are also playing well. And that’s going to be important for us if we’re going to continue to play well. There can’t be a drop off. We need a number of those guys to play well throughout this season.

”Teams are already focusing on stopping Ray and Rashard, and if other guys are making plays it forces the defense to pay some attention to them. But if they are not making shots, the defense is just going to get tighter and tighter on Ray and Rashard.”

Allen, though, is one of the league’s best players at creating his own shot anywhere on the court. And the way he’s been scoring is giving opposing defenses fits.

”Ray is playing like the All-Star he is,” McMillan said. ”He came into training camp ready to play and he’s been hot early this season.

”Last year he started off on the injured list, but if you’ll recall when he came back he got off to a good start and we won some games. So this is really not surprising to me. If Ray is healthy, then he’s been productive in a Sonics uniform. Right now he’s been somewhat on fire and that normally is what happens with him when he’s healthy.”

Ahead for Seattle is a long stretch of mostly home games that lasts through Christmas. Beginning with tonight’s visit by the lowly New Jersey nets, the Sonics have eight of their next 11 games at KeyArena.

That span includes Seattle appearances by suspension-wracked Indiana, Utah, Portland, Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix and Denver. The only road games in the next four weeks are a trip to Portland next Tuesday and a two-game swing to San Antonio and Dallas on Dec. 8-9.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Monroe’s Mason Davis (1) celebrates with Trent Bublitz (11) after Bublitz’s touchdown reception against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Edmonds School District Stadium in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader poll: Make your picks for Week 6 prep football games

Do you think you can beat the experts in our weekly high… Continue reading

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington reclaims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30

Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) gestures to Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodríguez (44) after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
MLB investigating Astros pitcher’s alleged use of homophobic slur

The incident occurred during a heated exchange between Houston’s Hector Neris and M’s star Julio Rodriguez on Wednesday night.

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read