SEATTLE (AP)—Coming off a draining double-overtime loss to Arizona, Washington pushed aside overmatched Cornell without much of help from its leading men.
Freshman Jon Brockman scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half and had a season-high 12 rebounds to help the No. 10 Huskies beat Cornell 87-71 on Monday night —
Justin Dentmon, also a freshman, added 15 points for Washington (12-1), which dominated the Big Red (4-8) inside with a 46-27 rebounding advantage but was outworked for stretches and seemed listless throughout. Still, Washington finished undefeated in nonconference play for the first time since 1980.
“Our energy level wasn’t what it should have been for 40 minutes,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We are at our best when we play with energy. We are not very good when we don’t play with energy.”
Jason Hartford scored a career-high 17 points for Cornell, which fell behind by 22 in the second half but twice rallied within 13 late in its first game in the state of Washington.
The Big Red lost their 12th straight to a ranked team. Their last win over a ranked team was Dec. 30, 1992, against then-No. 19 California. Cornell also has lost all seven of its road games this season.
“I thought we competed our tails off,” coach Steve Donahue said of his Big Red, who lost 83-39 at Bucknell Dec. 17. “I think we are getting substantially better.”
The Huskies scheduled this last nonconference game to fill a seven-day gap in its schedule before hosting Washington State on Saturday. But that created a third game in five days.
And it showed.
The Huskies looked tired and almost uninterested initially following that remarkable, 96-95 loss to Arizona on Saturday. The defeat ended the nation’s longest home winning streak at 32.
“It’s so hard to come off a sold-out crowd screaming at the top of their lungs, two game-saving shots to kept it going in both overtimes, to kind of doing an exhibition game that doesn’t affect our Pac-10 status,” Brockman said.
Brandon Roy followed consecutive 35-point games against Arizona State and Arizona with only 11 points Monday.
The game was tied at 12 after 7 1/2 minutes, after airball shots from Roy and Jamaal Williams, Washington’s two leading scorers. Roy also missed everything on a 3-point jumper midway through the second half and then winced at his poor shooting.
“We would have played this way if we had beaten Arizona or lost to Arizona,” Roy said. “It was tough to get up for this game in the middle of the Pac-10 season.”
But Washington scored 14 of the next 18 points in its decisive spurt following the tie at 12—with nothing from Roy or Williams. Reserve Hans Gasser had five points and Brockman four in the run. When Roy made his first basket off a fast-break layup with 5:15 left in the opening half, the Huskies led 35-23.
Brockman then became the catalyst for the expected rout with six straight points. The last two came after he tapped an offensive rebound to himself for a put-back score that put Washington ahead 45-30. Cornell never got closer than 13 after that.
The starting forward’s resurgence came after scoring 10 total points in his previous three games. He and Romar credited more movement without the ball as the reason.
“You can’t just stand there and expect the guards to feed you the ball,” Brockman said.