SEATTLE (AP) -- Yes, Washington really has a 5-foot-9 point guard
who can dunk.
And yes, the Huskies really did blow out a Top 10 opponent.
Nate Robinson scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15
shooting and directed a thrilling second-half charge with five
steals as Washington stunned No. 9 Arizona 96-83 on Thursday night.
"We had a lot of super glue," Robinson said. "We stuck
together like glue."
Robinson had a highlight-reel night for the Huskies (8-8, 3-5
Pac-10) that included an alley-oop dunk by the diminutive point
guard who used to play cornerback for Washington's football team.
"The guys on the bench said they saw my face on the rim," he
said. "I knew I was high but I didn't think I was that high. All
the joy, all the excitement that went into the game, all the
passion -- that dunk symbolized the game."
The momentum swung on that play, giving Washington a 66-65 lead
with 9:32 remaining. The Huskies closed with a 27-12 run, holding
the Wildcats (13-4, 5-3) scoreless for a three-minute stretch late
in the contest.
"We missed some shots and we gave them a chance to get their
run," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "They are very much a
Robinson also had a key rebound and putback basket and his array
of steals, scoring 20 points in the second half. He helped the
Huskies force 21 turnovers, which they converted into 32 points.
"If there's a loose ball, watch for Nate because he will get
it," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "That's what he did
tonight. He got the loose balls and started fast breaks."
It was Washington's first win over a ranked opponent since
beating No. 19 Oregon 94-92 on Jan. 24, 2002. Arizona had posted
eight straight wins over the Huskies, who shot a remarkable
24-of-26 on free throws.
"We proved we know how to play with the elite teams in the
country," Washington forward Bobby Jones said 20 minutes after the
game. "I'm still excited. I'm breathing hard, even right now."
At the buzzer, students flooded from the stands to join the
Huskies in a midcourt celebration. The Wildcats had to step around
the frenzy on their way to the locker room, heading off the floor
with heads down.
"We just didn't play together," said Salim Stoudamire, who
scored 16 for Arizona. "They got on a roll late in the game. The
crowd got behind them and they made all their free throws at the
"To beat a ranked team like this is something that hopefully
will raise our confidence to a very high level," Romar said.
"Still, we're 3-5 in the conference and we have not accomplished
The Wildcats struggled down the stretch.
"Anytime you give up 32 points on turnovers, you're in deep
trouble," Olson said.
Adams led Arizona with 19 points while Igoudala had 17 and
Mustafa Shakur 13.
Arizona led by double digits shortly after tipoff but the
scrappy Huskies rallied to keep it close and trailed 45-40 at the
The Wildcats started fast again in the second half and led 60-51
after Adams got free for an alley-oop and an easy layup and Shakur
hit a 3-pointer. But the Huskies came back again.
Robinson found Anthony Washington for a short jumper that capped
a 13-2 run and gave the Huskies their first lead at 64-62 with
10:31 to play. Robinson hit two free throws seconds earlier to tie
Robinson had the play of the night, though, when he caught and
alley-oop feed from Curtis Allen and dunked to put Washington up
66-65 one minute later. In the 2002 Apple Cup, Robinson made a key
interception in Washington's win at Washington State.
"Nate Robinson is just an unbelievable player, a tremendous
competitor," Olson said.
Then Robinson struck again, coming away with a steal in the
backcourt during a 14-3 burst that determined the outcome. He
started the run by soaring for a rebound and putback when Conroy
missed a 3-pointer.
"This makes us even hungrier," Robinson said. "We got a taste
of the pie. We've got to get the whole thing. We're so hungry to
get more wins and get after people. We have so many goals."