The Huskies recorded a new school record from shots from beyond the arc, and got a big boost from the bench and unlikely leading scorer Brandon Burmeister, who led the Huskies with a career-high 17 points in a 102-74 win over Nicholls State at Bank of America Arena in the second game of the Basketball Travelers Classic.
Like their previous game against Pepperdine, the Huskies (2-0) had the benefit and leverage of a huge lead built in the first half that the Colonels (0-3) could not overcome. Washington started out with a 23-6 run to start the game, and behind the shooting of Justin Dentmon, who at one point scored 11 straight points for the Huskies. Dentmon finished with 16 points, with 14 points coming in the first half, and a career-high four three-pointers.
The Huskies had a hot hand all night from three-point range. The Huskies set a new school record by draining 17-of-33 treys, with 12 coming in the first half, and broke a record the team set at California during the 2005 season, when they made 16 treys. Burmeister led the charge, drilling 5-of-8 shots from long distance.
"He's steady, you can always count on him and he's solid," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar. "He played like a senior out there today."
"It's always nice to shoot the ball well," said Burmeister. "We knew we were going to get some looks at three by the way (Nicholls State) were playing their zone and I just hope that we can continue shooting like this."
Romar was also pleased with the contribution with the rest of his bench, including Artem Wallace. The sophomore from Toledo, Wash. scored a career-high nine points and eight rebounds. Freshmen Phil Nelson had his best game so far with 10 points. The bench combined for 45 points, and the Huskies had six players scoring in double figures.
Jon Brockman, coming off of a career game against Pepperdine was held scoreless in the first half, but bounced back in the second half to notch his second straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"The zone (Nicholls State's defense) was really tight in the first half," said Brockman. "In the second half, they recognized our shooters and opened up that high post area and we got a lot of work out of that so I think the fact that we were hitting our shots in the first half translated over to opening things up and spreading the zone out."
Spencer Hawes had a down game after an exciting debut the night before. The former Seattle Prep star only played 16 minutes, and didn't score after he started off hot and scored the first four points of the game. Romar wasn't concerned, and attributed the diminished production to Hawes' need to get back into the flow of things after his knee surgery.
"The first night, your adrenaline is flowing and the second night, it catches up with you a lot of times," Romar said of Hawes. "This is a good week for him to get back into playing shape and I would say by the end of this week, he'll be in pretty good shape."
But once again, the signs of a young team still learning to play an efficient game showed through the win. For the second straight game, the Huskies had over 20 turnovers and were outscored by Nicholls State 54-47 in the second half, led by guard Adonis Gray, who scored 25 of his game-high 29 points in the second half.
"I think the good news is that when we are focused and concentrating, we give ourselves a good chance to be successful," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar. "The bad news is that at this infant stage of the season, we haven't learned to concentrate for two halves."
The Huskies turned the ball over 23 times, with most coming from unforced errors. Romar said however that he believes that the turnovers and the mental mistakes will sort itself as the season progresses as the team learns to focus.
"You did things when you were younger that got yourself killed, but you didn't realize it," said Romar. "Sometimes, that happens until you learn a couple of times that if you do that again, you are going to be in big trouble. The negatives about our team right now are the things that can be resolved. Each time we play, we get better."
In other action: In the first game of the night, Northern Iowa defeated Pepperdine 83-58. The Panthers were led by Travis Brown's 16 points and Brooks McKowen's 11 points. The Huskies play Northern Iowa Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the final game of the Basketball Traveler's Classic.
"Tomorrow's game will be a challenge we haven't faced yet," Romar said of Northern Iowa. "They are a good basketball team that is very organized and know how to win and they don't lose focus. There are a number of challenges that we have to grow up and conquer and that's what non-conference basketball is about for a lot of teams, where we are using these games to learn and teach."
Points: Burmeister 17, Dentmon 16, Pondexter 14, Brockman 12, Appleby 11, Nelson 10, Wallace 9, Gasser 5, Hawes 4, Perry 3, Oliver 1
Rebounds: Brockman 10, Wallace 8, Pondexter 4, Nelson 3, Perry 3, Dentmon 3, Burmeister 3, Hawes 2, Oliver 2, Gasser 1
Assists: Dentmon 6, Perry 4, Wallace 4, Brockman 3, Oliver 3, Gasser 2, Burmeister 2, Appleby 2, Pondexter 1
Blocks: Dentmon 1
Steals: Appleby 3, Pondexter 2, Dentmon 2, Hawes 1, Oliver 1
Burmeister's barrage powers UW over Colonels
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