SEATTLE (AP) -- Last spring, Brandon Roy decided to delay
potential NBA millions and return to Washington for his senior
Roy made another strong case for Pac-10 player of the year
honors by scoring 19 of his 27 points in the second half Sunday
night to lead Washington (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) into a second-place tie in the
conference with a 73-62 win over California.
"When I was dreaming, this is exactly what I dreamed about --
but it's tough to accomplish these things," Roy said after his
ninth consecutive game with at least 20 points led the Huskies to
their sixth straight win.
Playing in his final home game, Roy was 9-for-13 from the floor,
7-for-9 in the second half, as Washington (22-5, 11-5) avenged a
January loss to the Bears by breaking open a rugged game midway
through the second half. He also held California's Ayinde Ubaka to
six points, the first time in 15 games the Bears' guard had not
reached double figures.
At the end, Roy hugged every one of his coaches and teammates at
the bench. After the final buzzer, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar
invited the senior students out of the stands and onto the floor.
Roy was the first of five Huskies seniors to greet them with hugs
The Huskies and Bears (17-8, 11-5) are tied for second, one game
behind UCLA, with two regular-season games remaining. California
hosts UCLA Thursday, while Washington is at ninth-place Arizona
"I dreamed of this moment," Roy said. "And to be this close
to the Pac-10 championship and still get some accolades for me,
Roy took control of a foul-filled wrestling match that featured
him and California player of the year contender, Leon Powe. Powe
was the conference scoring leader at 20.3 points per game coming
in, just ahead of Roy's 19.7.
"They are both great players," Romar said. "But I disagree
with those who say this was a showdown between Brandon and Leon
Powe for player of the year.
"Try to find someone else in a league, anywhere, who is in the
top 10 in 10 of 13 categories (as Roy is)."
Powe entered the weekend as one of only two players in Division
I averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. He scored 14 points
and had eight rebounds but sat out the final 5:34 of the opening
half with two fouls. He took only seven shots -- four below his
Richard Midgley led the Bears with 15 points. California's slide
into its second loss in nine games coincided with Midgley getting
his fourth foul with 14:10 left. The Bears scored just one basket
over the next 4½ minutes with their point guard sitting out.
California coach Ben Braun refused to permit Powe to speak to
the media afterward. Braun seemed dismayed by some offensive fouls
called on Powe. One was for driving into Roy, with 11:12 left and
the Bears down 45-40. Washington then scored eight of the next 10
points to take control.
Just before that third foul, Powe grabbed the jersey of
Washington's Mike Jensen and pulled him into the baseline in
apparent frustration after a missed shot.
When asked if Powe should have had the ball more, Braun said,
"He'd have fouled out a long time ago if he got more touches,
Roy's touches were mostly golden.
He was fouled on a twisting layup while falling down and
converted the three-point play to give Washington a four-point lead
3:03 into the second half.
Roy kept that lead comfortable. He looked around and seemed to
have no other option but to shoot a 3-pointer. That also swished.
Roy coolly shook his head and then exhorted the crowd with both
arms to celebrate a 60-50 lead with 5:36 to go.
California closed to within 64-58 on a 3-pointer by Theo
Robertson with 2:46 to go. But Roy had an answer for that, too.
He made another 3-point shot and then backpedaled as the sellout
crowd roared over Washington's 67-58 lead with 2:14 left.