UW rolls; Huskies give fans early Holiday present

SEATTLE - How bout this for a holiday treat, Husky fans? Another Washington blowout victory on the hardwood, this time a 110-63 shellacking against a Houston team that came in with an 8-3 record and quality wins over Missouri and LSU. Indeed, this one was gift-wrapped in purple and gold.

Houston, an athletic squad out of Conference USA, was as prime a candidate as any to give the Huskies a scare on the Christmas Eve showdown. Why? Because aside from the Cougars' pure talent, Washington was only two-days removed from its 61-point pasting of Sacred Heart with its Pac-10 opener looming only a week away.

So much for that theory.

This one was all Huskies from the opening tip until the final horn, and it all started for Washington on the defensive end of the court. The Huskies kept the Cougars scoreless for the opening six minutes and 53 seconds of the game, breaking out to a 9-0 lead that helped ignite the lopsided victory.

"We committed 24 turnovers, after that there is nothing that I can complain about as all," said Husky coach Lorenzo Romar. "I can't think of too many other performances that we've had that we've done a better job throughout the game on both sides of the floor."

The win marked the No. 12 ranked Huskies' sixth-straight win, and 13th in a row at home. Houston dropped to 8-4.

"We played like veterans today," said Romar. "You look at the teams that Houston has played and what they've accomplished, and they were no walk in the park. For us to come out here and play the way we did, I was impressed."

While Houston struggled to even come close to scoring in the opening seven minutes, the Huskies also took a while to get the offense on track. In fact, 11 minutes into the first half the score stood at 16-7.

Then the Huskies began to catch fire, taking advantage when the Cougars defense extended towards the perimeter with the inside presence of Jamaal Williams and Bobby Jones.

When Jamaal Williams came in the game, he was aggressive and made a few baskets. Jones led all scorers with 15 points in the first half, while Williams poured in 14. They finished with 22 and 19, respectively.

In all, five Huskies scored in double-digits. Tre Simmons (16), Brandon Roy (14) and Nate Robinson (11) joined the others.

Every Husky player scored except Mike Jensen, who somehow was held without a point in 14 minutes of play. Jensen picked up his fourth foul 11 seconds into the second half and never returned.

Washington outplayed the Cougars in every facet of the game. Houston was outrebounded 48-to-31 and were outshot 57 percent to 31 percent. Still, Cougars coach Tom Penders was reluctant to give the Huskies credit for the 47-point blowout.

"The University of Washington is a fine basketball team, but I would love to play them on a neutral floor, or in Houston and I think we'd beat them," said Penders. "That was a disgrace. The officiating was a disgrace."

Houston was led by Chris Lawson's 18 points and the 17 of Andre Owens.

The Huskies open Pac-10 play next Friday with a home game against California.

Non-Conference schedule done: Washington completed the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 10-1 record. That is UW's best non-conference winning percentage in regular-season games since the 1953 team had a similar 10-1 record. That 1953 squad was Washington's only Final Four team. The 1975-76 UW team posted a 13-2 regular-season record outside conference play.

Winning Streak: The Huskies' increased their home winning streak to 13 games, their longest since a 14-game stretch form February 12, 1998-February 6, 1999. Washington's last home loss came on January 10, 2004 against UCLA.

Century mark: Washington has posted back-to-back 100-point games for the second time in school history. The Huskies defeated Sacred Heart 114-53 on Wednesday. The 1971-72 team was the only other UW squad with consecutive 100-point performances, beating Dartmouth 100-75 and Michigan 100-80.

Scoring binge: The Huskies amassed 224 points in their last two games, the highest two-game scoring total in school history.

Points: Jones 22, Williams 19, Simmons 16, Roy 16, 
Robinson 11, Smith 9, Conroy 5, Gasser 4, 
Burmeister 3, Fletcher 2, Potter 2, Johnson 1  
Rebounds: Jones 9, Simmons 9, Williams 6, Roy 4,
Jensen 3, Robinson 3, TEAM 3, Conroy 2, 
Smith 2, Burmeister 2, Gasser 2, Fletcher 1,
Potter 1, Johnson 1
Assists: Conroy 9, Robinson 7, Jones 3, Simmons 3, 
Smith 2, Roy 2, Johnson 2, Williams 1
Steals: Jones 1, Conroy 1, Roy 1, Williams 1
Blocks: Jones 2, Simmons 1

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