SEATTLE - Washington's season was about to lose all its meaning. A 30-point loss five days earlier at Arizona had left the young, wildly fluctuating Huskies in eighth place in the Pac-10 - and just about out of a fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth.
Then Jon Brockman bulled and bruised and willed his team to victory. Yet again.
The Huskies' captain had 22 points - 17 in the second half to break open a one-point game - and a career high-tying 14 rebounds to single-handedly carry desperate Washington past slumping California 79-71 on Thursday night.
"He's only a sophomore so we don't know what's going to happen, (but) there is a good chance he could be the best leader I have ever been around," said Washington coach and former Huskies captain Lorenzo Romar.
Romar is in his 15th season of college coaching after five years as a player in the NBA.
"He never stops. He never stops being a leader," Romar said. "That's hard to do. And it's not 'rah-rah' stuff, either. It's genuine. It's his true self."
Brockman's fourth 20-point game and 10th double-double of the season keeps alive those flickering NCAA hopes for the Huskies (15-8, 5-7 Pac-10). No Pac-10 team has ever been in the tournament without a winning record in the conference - Washington has six league games remaining before the Pac-10 tournament.
Four of those games are at home, where Washington is 14-1 this season. The Huskies have won 53 of their last 56 games at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
"It seems you have to play awfully well to beat Washington at Washington," coach Ben Braun said, after his Bears (12-11, 4-7) lost their fifth straight game.
California's Ayinde Ubaka, playing 34 minutes off the bench one day after being dehydrated and spitting up blood because of an intestinal virus, scored 20 points. Freshman Ryan Anderson had 17 with seven rebounds.
Anderson, the only player in the Pac-10's top five in scoring and rebounding, had 18 points and 14 rebounds in Cal's 77-69 win over Washington last month in Berkeley. That was when the Bears manhandled the Huskies, just as Brockman returned the thumping Thursday night.
"At Cal, they just came out and punked us. They just socked us in the face," Brockman said, angry that the Bears and Arizona are the only teams to out-rebound UW this season. "That was a little bit disturbing."
No. 14 Washington St. 58, No. 25 Stanford 45
At Pullman, Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver each scored 12 points and Washington State used smothering defense to reach 20 wins for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
Ivory Clark scored 11 points and Robbie Cowgill 10 as Washington State (20-4, 9-3 Pac-10) remained second in the conference.
Stanford (15-7, 7-4) shot just 28 percent in the game, had 12 shots blocked and suffered 15 turnovers in posting a season-low score. The Cardinal, who came in averaging 72 points, were led by Brook Lopez's 13 points.
No. 13 Oregon 55, Arizona St
At Eugene, Ore., Tajuan Porter scored 24 points and Oregon held on for the win.
Porter was 8-for-12 from the field with six 3-pointers for Oregon (20-4, 8-4 Pac-10), which scored its fewest points of the season.
Aaron Brooks, who started the game as the Pac-10's leading scorer at 20.8 points, equaled his season-low with five points on 1-of-8 shooting.
No. 24 Arizona 72, Oregon State 66
At Corvallis, Ore., Marcus Williams scored 23 points in another big performance for Arizona.
Ivan Radenovic had 19 points, making 13 of 16 free throws, and Jordan Hill added 12 points and 11 rebounds in his fourth start for the Wildcats (16-7, 7-5 Pac-10).
Sasa Cuic had a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting to lead Oregon State (9-16, 1-11), which has dropped seven games in a row and appears to be on its way to a 16th non-winning season in 17 years.
No. 10 BUTLER 92, CLEVELAND ST. 50
At Cleveland, Pete Campbell made eight 3-pointers - six in the first half - and finished with 28 points, and Butler showed off its outside touch by making a school record 20 3s.
The Bulldogs (23-2, 11-1 Horizon League) extended their winning streak to nine.
No. 8 Memphis 70, UAB 56
At Birmingham, Ala., Jeremy Hunt scored a career-high 30 points and Memphis limited UAB to 31 percent shooting.
The Tigers (20-3, 10-0 Conference USA) blew the game open with a 24-5 run starting late in the first half for their 12th consecutive victory.
No. 12 Nevada 81, Fresno State 68
At Fresno, Calif., Nick Fazekas had a season-high 33 points, 15 rebounds and keyed a big run to open the second half for Nevada. Brockman leads UW with 22 points, 17 boards