SEATTLE (AP)—“The Provider” did just that for the Washington Huskies.
Brandon Roy made good on a season-long promise to turn up his game in Pac-10 play with career highs of five 3-pointers and 35 points to lead No. 7 Washington to a 91-67 victory over Arizona State. He also added some soaring dunks and strutting celebrations in the conference opener for both teams.
Roy equaled his season average of 16 points in a first half which ended with the Huskies rallying to lead 40-38. He scored 14 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half as Washington (11-0) extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 32 games.
“That’s why we call him ‘The Provider.’ He provides what we need,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said of Roy, who he recruited to Washington after he applied for the NBA draft out of Seattle’s Garfield High School in 2002.
Roy was the first Husky to score 35 points in a game since Doug Wrenn on Feb. 2, 2002. He also became the 31st Washington player to score 1,000 points in a career.
The Huskies needed Roy to offset an 0-for-10 start from the field and rally to their best start since the 1975-76 team began 14-0. The next test for their highest national ranking since 1984 is Saturday at home against Arizona.
The Huskies may not have acclaimed freshman Jon Brockman for that game. He was floored by an elbow to the temple from Bruno Claudino in the second half. Brockman, already playing with a broken nose, said he briefly blacked out. Romar said he expects his inside force to play Saturday, pending further examination Friday.
Kevin Kruger had 18 points for Arizona State (6-4), which has lost five straight Pac-10 openers. The Sun Devils have six new players from last season’s 18-14 team. They lost Pac-10 Player of the Year Ike Diogu to the NBA last summer and senior forward Allen Morill to knee surgery this month.
On Thursday, starters Bryson Krueger and Jeff Pendergraph fouled out.
Washington, the nation’s No. 1 scoring team at 91.6 points per game, fell behind 9-2, the Huskies’ largest deficit since Nov. 15, when they trailed Air Force by nine.
“They were really physical,” Roy said of the Sun Devils. “They were slapping our elbows on shots. Coach said to shut up and stop complaining—and hit them right back.”
Roy scored nine points during a 17-6 run to take the lead. Roy was the only Husky with more than one basket until Joel Smith made consecutive layups in the final 36 seconds on the first half.
Washington scored the first 10 points of the second half, a spurt Roy punctuated with a 3-pointer and mini strut with wrists turned out to celebrate.
“We knew what they were going to do coming out of the half,” Arizona State coach Rob Evans said. “We told our guys to stay on top of it. And they didn’t.
“I thought the first half we played very well. We should have been up on them going into the half.”
When he made his fourth 3-pointer 2 minutes later, Washington had its biggest lead, 57-45 with 15:20 left. Roy’s next act was a soaring slam of a lob pass from Justin Dentmon 3 minutes later. He landed and squatted toward the floor with his palms pressing down, as if quelling the Sun Devils for good. Washington led 63-47.
“He did what he is capable of doing,” Romar said, “when we needed him to.”
And it was the runs he led that made the difference.
“I cannot fault the guys for their effort. I thought they did a great job effort-wise,” Evans said. “Just a good team like this, you can’t let them go on runs.”