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January 13, 2011

Huskies' Pac-10 perfection is gone

STANFORD, Calif. - Washington looked frantic and out of sync, a team dearly missing injured point guard Abdul Gaddy and the rhythm he brings.

Stanford pushed the tempo and pulled off a surprise.

Josh Owens scored the go-ahead basket on a left-handed tip-in with 29 seconds left and the Cardinal stunned the 17th-ranked Huskies 58-56 on Thursday night to hand the visitors their first Pacific-10 Conference loss of the season.

"I just went up and tried to make a play. I personally thought the shot was going in, and then the guard got a position on my man under the basket and I got a portion that rolled," Owens said.

Scott Suggs missed a baseline 3-pointer moments later for Washington after he knocked down a tying 3 with 1:08 left. Stanford's Jeremy Green was whistled for a foul against Justin Holiday on the rebound, but Holiday missed both free throws with 2.5 seconds on the clock-the second on purpose with hopes of giving his team another chance.

The Huskies (12-4, 4-1 Pac-10) caught a break when Dwight Powell was called for traveling on the rebound, giving them the ball back for one final try. Holiday was short on a 12-foot jumper from the right wing as the buzzer sounded.

"I wanted the ball. The plan was for me to get a lob, but when they helped, I didn't get that much time to shoot it," Holiday said.

Owens had 14 points and Green added 12 for Stanford (10-5, 3-1) in the biggest victory yet for third-year coach Johnny Dawkins. It was the Cardinal's first game against a ranked opponent this season and the victory kept them undefeated at home this season.

"I hadn't thought about that. I don't really look at them that way," Dawkins said of where this win ranks for him on The Farm. "I'm just really proud of our guys' effort for 40 minutes. I thought we played hard. I think we protected the home court very well."

Stanford is 8-0 in Maples Pavilion for the program's best start on its home floor since going 14-0 during a 26-0 start in 2003-04.

Washington saw a six-game winning streak come to an end and suffered its first Pac-10 loss after 11 straight conference victories, dating back to last season.

Powell had 11 points and seven rebounds for Stanford, including a key putback with 1:44 to play.

Holiday finished with 15 points, including eight straight early in the second half after going 0 for 5 in the opening 20 minutes. Isaiah Thomas added 14 points and seven assists for the Huskies, who couldn't hold an 11-point lead with 8:55 left and had their six-game winning streak snapped.

The Cardinal beat a ranked opponent for the first time since a 74-64 victory against No. 21 Arizona State on March 5, 2009. It was their first home victory against a Top 25 team since a 75-69 win over rival and No. 22 California on Jan. 17, 2009.

Stanford had lost the last six to the Huskies and seven of 10. All three Washington wins last season were by double digits.

"It just feels good to finally beat them. Ever since I was a freshman, we haven't got the win," Green said. "I'm proud of our team, glad that we were able to come out here and compete."

Venoy Overton's layup with 8:55 remaining put Washington ahead 51-40, but Stanford kept chipping away by creating second and third opportunities on offense.

Jarrett Mann's dunk with 6:02 left pulled the Cardinal within 51-48. Anthony Brown followed with a putback and Green hit a go-ahead 3 the next time down to make it 53-51 with 3:47 left. Washington called timeout, then tied it on Holiday's jumper at 3:23.

"They didn't quit when we were up 11 with 10 to go," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We failed to box out at the end. We missed free throws and layups and had some turnovers that were very costly at the 7- or 8-minute mark. We weren't able to turn it around at the end."

The cold-shooting Huskies were held to their lowest scoring total of the season and 36.2 percent shooting from the field.

Washington lost Gaddy for the season last week to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He had been scheduled for surgery Friday.

Thomas' three-point play with 10:37 left put Washington ahead 49-38 for its first double-digit lead. Washington never looked in sync early and couldn't convert when it counted. Stanford ended a six-game skid in the rivalry.

This marked Washington's first game since Romar acknowledged one of his players is being investigated by police following an allegation last weekend.

Romar and his players have tried to keep all the focus on basketball this week.

"I don't think that was an issue at all," Romar said. "Both teams played hard the whole game. We both missed a lot of layups. Things don't go the way you want sometimes."

The Huskies failed to come through in crunch time on their first stop of the always-tough trip to the Bay Area. Washington also had its road winning streak in Pac-10 play end at six.

The Huskies, who play at defending conference champion California on Sunday night, were off to their best conference start since beginning 6-0 in the 1983-84 season.

Washington, with its three previous losses coming at the hands of ranked opponents in Kentucky, Michigan State and Texas A&M, began a stretch with five of seven games on the road.

Stanford hadn't faced a Top 25 team since Dec. 22, 2009, in a 100-87 loss to 23rd-ranked Texas Tech.

The Huskies shot 35.7 percent-including 3 for 10 from long range-in the first half and trailed 29-28 at the break.


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