In case you were wondering, Mike Hart still chases down offensive and defensive rebounds, Erroll Knight can still rise and J.P. Batista still finishes down low.
Justin Dentmon can still bury 3-pointers and Donald Watts, at 40, can still flat-out play.
That was evident in the second annual Hoopfest alumni game as a team of former Gonzaga Bulldogs edged ex-Washington Huskies 111-106 Friday before an appreciative audience at the Convention Center.
“It’s almost like a holiday for me,” said Knight, who began his career at Washington before transferring to Gonzaga. “I take every year off at this time and it’s cool to be back. It was amazing to see all the guys.”
It was entertaining and competitive as the Huskies kept pace with the Zags behind Dentmon’s 37 points, Robert Upshaw’s 20 and Watts’ 17.
“A lot of fun,” Watts said. “When you’re my age you don’t get out and get real competitive games against young guys. I think I showed I can still play. Justin got it going in the 3-point contest (at halftime) and carried it on to the second half.”
Knight had the finish of the night with a one-handed jam on Eric McClellan’s lob pass to put the Zags up 78-74 after three quarters.
Matt Bouldin’s fifth 3-pointer gave Gonzaga an 87-85 lead with 8:05 remaining. The Huskies pulled within 100-98 on Watts’ 3-pointer and 102-101 on Bobby Jones’ 3.
Robert Sacre, who joined Bouldin with a team-high 22 points, hit a pair of free throws. Steven Gray buried a 3-pointer for his only basket and Micah Downs’ dunk put the Zags up 109-101.
“Me being from the west side and watching a lot of UW and seeing Bobby Jones out here, he was a legend when I was growing up,” Gray said. “And it’s always a blast to see the old Zags.”
Dentmon connected on another 3 but Dan Dickau hit from the baseline for his first field goal as the Zags held on.
“A lot of these guys are playing pro ball somewhere,” said Bouldin, who has played in South Korea the last two years. “UW has some studs, too. You kind of keep it close until the fourth quarter and then you start to play a bit harder for sure.”
The former Huskies, cleaning up on the offensive boards, scored the last six points of the first quarter to lead 28-22.
Watts’ hit a 3-pointer to extend UW’s lead to nine. The Zags closed within one on a pair of Sacre free throws and moved ahead 45-39 on two Batista baskets and Downs’ transition layup.
UW rallied to tie it at 45 at half on Mike Jensen’s jumper.
Dentmon edged Gray in two extra sessions to win the halftime 3-point shooting contest. Gray bounced back quickly, drilling a half-court shot to put $2,000 in Amme Paluch’s pocket. She was the beneficiary because she won a bracket contest from last year’s The Basketball Tournament.
“I’m shooting like 12 percent in alumni game the last two years,” Gray cracked, “but last year I won the 3-point contest and this year I hit a half-courter so I’m at least keeping memorable moments in the fans’ eyes.”
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