Washington's Jon Brockman tries to get out of the triple team defense of Tyrell Biggs, left, Keith Benjamin, Mike Cook (31) in the second half. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)
Dec. 8, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) - DeJuan Blair shook his arms at the screaming Washington student section trying to quiet them down. Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon looked at the scorer's table for any sign that the 12th-ranked Panthers would remain unbeaten.
On the opposite side, Justin Dentmon was being mobbed by his Washington teammates for apparently hitting a needed game-winning shot.
In the middle of the chaos, a Pac-10 officiating crew stared at a tiny television monitor, trying to determine if Pittsburgh would remain undefeated.
The Panthers are 9-0. Barely.
Dentmon's runner in the lane as the buzzer sounded was disallowed after a lengthy video review, and the Panthers held off Washington's late rally for a 75-74 victory Saturday.
"Never been in it and hope to never be in it again," Dixon said. "The players kept coming over saying it wasn't good ... and then we saw some people at the table saying it wasn't good, too, so during that time we kind of had an inkling.
"I guess it was good TV."
Great might be a better description.
The well-played matchup concluded with Dentmon taking an inbound pass with 4 seconds left the length of the court and scoring from 12 feet as time expired, sending Washington's fans into delirium.
But officials knew it was close, and before making the signal if the shot counted, pointed to the scorer's table and the replay monitors.
They peered at the screen for nearly five minutes, while the Washington students chanted to let the shot stand, encouraged by the Huskies' players.
Replays showed Denton's shot coming late. The officials agreed.
"It was frustrating not knowing," Dentmon said. "It is really hard because you have it and then they take it away from you and it feels like everything just went bad."
Levance Fields led the Panthers (9-0) with 20 points, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 5 seconds left, setting up the frantic final moments. Pitt's Blair grabbed the rebound, but was tied up by Washington's Jon Brockman and the Huskies got the ball on the alternating possession.
Washington's best option probably was Ryan Appleby, who had already hit six 3-pointers in his first game of the season. But Dentmon saw an opening and took it himself.
"I was taught in that situation to try and get the shot off," Dentmon said. "I had already made up my mind to take it."
Dentmon just needed another half-second. Instead, Washington (4-4) has dropped four of five, missed opportunities for the Huskies to pick up an impressive non-conference win over a quality opponent.
Washington's losses are to Syracuse, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh.
Appleby, who missed the first seven games recovering from a broken right thumb, led Washington with 18 points, while Brockman added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
"Appleby comes off just in time for us. I thought that was convenient," Dixon joked.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh passed its first test outside their own city limits. The Panthers started 7-0 at home, then went across town to beat Duquesne 73-68 on Wednesday.
With leading scorer Sam Young saddled early with foul problems and struggling to find open looks, it was Fields and Blair carrying the Panthers scoring.
Fields scored the final five points of the first half to get the Panthers within 37-34. Then it was Fields, Blair and Mike Cook combining for 25 of Pitt's first 30 points of the second half. Blair scored six straight at one point and Cook's 3-pointer with 6:23 left gave the Panthers a 65-56 lead.
Blair finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds and Cook scored 14 points.
"It was electrifying. I loved it," Blair said. "I learned a lot."
Young then started forcing his way into the game, scoring six of his 14 in the final 4 minutes. Brockman's tip-in and Quincy Pondexter's deep 3-pointer with 3:23 left got Washington back within 69-65. Young then slammed a powerful baseline dunk and hit a tough left-hander in traffic to keep the Panthers lead at five.
Appleby hit two 3-pointers and Pondexter added another in the final 93 seconds to give Washington a chance. Appleby's second came with 6.8 seconds left.
Fields was fouled in the backcourt. He made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 22 seconds left, but missed the front end this time, setting off the crazy final moments.
Washington saw its 31-game non-conference home winning streak end. The Huskies last non-conference home loss was to Gonzaga on Dec. 3, 2003.
"Our guys were hanging in there all the way to the end," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.