Huskies take Columbia to school

They say you should let sleeping dogs lie. If that is the case, then Columbia must have disturbed these sleeping Dawgs in a big way. After dropping three of their last four games, the Huskies erupted in a big way at home to defeat Columbia 88-51 to close out 2003.

The Huskies looked like a completely different team than the last team the home crowd saw nearly a month ago against Gonzaga. Hitting on all cylinders, Washington capitalized on a huge first half and led from tip to the final buzzer to send the crowd home on a snowy Seattle Tuesday night.

Washington busted things open from the get-go with an 11-2 run to start the game. With their pesky defense causing Columbia turnovers by the bunches, the speedy Huskies defense took the ball the other way and almost scored at will in the first half. With no way to figure out the pressure defense, Columbia had 17 first half turnovers and 28 overall that resulted in 36 points the other way.

Led by Bobby Jones, Washington threw at Columbia nearly everything in their offensive arsenal. Coming off of a career night against San Diego State, Jones was a big factor in the game again with both his defense and offense. Without a clue how to contain him, Columbia began to get physical as Jones found himself at the receiving end of a hard foul on more than one occasion. Still, he created a personal 9-0 run to pad the already comfortable Husky lead. Even though he was held scoreless in the second half, Jones led all scorers with 18 points at the end of the night.

Washington found their stroke from beyond the arc and connected better than they have all season as they drained a season-high 11 treys on 23 attempts. Curtis Allen and Tre Simmons each made their mark from long distance and even walk-on Brandon Burmeister got into the act with two long-distance shots in mop-up time. Simmons added 15 points and Allen chipped in with 11 points on the night.

"We passed up a lot good shots for great shots," said Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar of the Huskies shooting. Romar added that he was pleased with the way the Huskies stayed focused on their shooting.

"When that happens, you can't ask anything more from your guys. When you're up 35 or 40 points, everybody could be out their looking for their shots trying to pad their numbers but that wasn't the case and that's why I'm proud of our guys tonight."

But still, Washington had their rusty period. After coming out and shooting 64.5 percent in the first half, the Huskies faltered to shoot just 32.3 percent in the second. Both Washington and Columbia scored 30 points in the second half. Washington also had 24 turnovers on the night to signal an area that will be focused on.

"That shouldn't have happened," said Romar of the turnovers. "But at the same time, I thought our defensive pressure was really good."

Dodson Worthington led Columbia with 12 points.

Garfield Night: It was Garfield Night at Bank of America Arena to celebrate the Huskies' "Garfield Quartet" of Will Conroy, Tre Simmons, Anthony Washington, and Brandon Roy. After the game, the four former Bulldogs stayed around to meet with fans and give out autographs.

Homecoming: Columbia senior guard Maurice Murphy returned home to play in front of the hometown crowd. Murphy prepped at O'Dea High School and was a teammate of former Husky Doug Wrenn.

Washington Hurting: Huskies center Anthony Washington sat out of tonight's game to give his foot a rest. Washington had surgery on his broken foot on the offseason and has been feeling some discomfort as of late. As a precautionary reason, he sat out to rest a bit. Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said Washington should be ready to go for conference play.

Mop-up Time: Add two more Huskies to the scoring record books. With the game total control with three minutes left to go in the game, the four youngest Huskies got into the action. Hans Gasser, Brandon Burmeister, Alex Johnson, and Zane Potter ran the floor with senior captain Curtis Allen leading them the rest of the game. Johnson and Potter scored their first career points on the free throw line. To the delight of their more celebrated teammates, they each finished the night with one point.

Husky Stats:
Scoring: Jones 18, Simmons 15, Roy 13, Allen 11, Conroy 7, Rollins 7, Burmeister 6, Gasser 4, Robinson 3, Jensen 2, Johnson 1, Potter 1

Rebounds: Rollins 9, Jensen 6, Roy 5, Jones 4, Simmons 4, Gasser 4, Conroy 1, Robinson 1, Allen 1

Assists: Conroy 6, Gasser 5, Roy 4, Allen 3, Robinson 2, Jones 1, Simmons 1, Rollins 1, Burmeister 1

Blocks: Rollins 2, Robinson 1, Gasser 1, Jones 1, Jensen 1, Johnson 1 Steals: Jones 2, Robinson 2, Conroy 1, Johnson 1

Up Next: Washington goes right back on the road to open up Pac-10 play as they head down to the Bay Area to meet Cal on January 2nd, and Stanford on January 4th. The Huskies were 1-3 against the Bay Area schools last season including a thrilling 73-68 win over Stanford at home. Top Stories