UW men manhandle Sacred Heart

  • By John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, December 22, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – You have to ask why they bothered to make the trip.

Had they wanted to experience a blowout, the Sacred Heart University Pioneers could have stayed in Fairfield, Conn., for their meeting with UConn in five days.

Instead, the Pioneers made the cross-country flight to Seattle for a 114-53 avalanche at the hands of 12th-ranked Washington Wednesday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

It looked like Danny Fortson vs. Luke Ridnour, two falls out of three.

“We wanted to play the right way for 40 minutes and not be bored with success if we were to have success,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I thought our guys did a marvelous job of doing that.”

Sacred Heart (1-7) players can tell their grandchildren they scored the first four points of the game and led the Huskies (9-1) 7-3 in the first three minutes, but that’s where the conversation should end for the good of everyone involved.

That’s because the Huskies, slapped awake by Romar’s unsatisfied verbal tirades, scored the next 24 points in a 51/2-minute span to put the game away early.

That’s right. It was 37 minutes of garbage time. Washington forced 34 turnovers and scored 55 points off them. Seventy points came in the paint.

“Coach got on us at halftime because we weren’t playing good enough defense,” said UW forward Bobby Jones, who finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. “We just wanted to play our ball and put them in the ground, basically.”

After Washington’s biggest explosion (there were other, equally ridiculous stretches), the Huskies held a 27-7 lead. Twenty of their points came on 11 Pioneers turnovers. Joel Smith, an athletic freshman reserve, scored nine points in six minutes, putting together two straight steals for dunks, one coming on a 180-degree spin in the air.

Smith was 5-for-5 shooting from the floor for 12 first-half points as Romar gave nine players playing time.

But even Smith wasn’t the most dominant player before intermission. Reserve forward Jamaal Williams notched 14 points and five rebounds, three coming on the offensive end. He was 7-of-8 shooting from the floor in the first half.

Williams finished with 22 points in 18 minutes, hitting 11 of 12 shots from the floor. He was one of eight Huskies who scored in double figures.

“It was open; we were running and we caused a lot of turnovers,” Williams said. “We were able to get easy shots.”

It was that kind of night. The Pioneers had 15 first-half turnovers that the Huskies turned into 25 points. Most humiliating was the apparent ease in which the Huskies made it look. And they didn’t even use star guard Brandon Roy, who was resting his injured knee after he played 18 minutes in Washington’s win Sunday against North Carolina State.

The onslaught continued in the second half. Nate Robinson hit a 3-pointer to make it 92-40 with 9:15 left.

Point guard Will Conroy scored 11 points and dished out a career-high 13 assists.

Luke Granato led the Pioneers with 15 points, all on 3-pointers.


Area links: Sacred Heart, which hails from the Northeast Conference (along with such schools as Quinnipiac, Monmouth and Robert Morris), was scheduled primarily because it has three former Washington prep players on its roster.

Starting forward Joey Henley was a fine three-sport athlete from Kentridge; reserve forward Brice Brooks prepped at Central Kitsap; and junior guard Tavio Hobson, redshirting following his transfer from Boston College, is a Seattle Prep graduate.

Coach Dave Bike, in his 27th year at Sacred Heart, was an assistant at Seattle University for four seasons.

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