Huskies run over Vikings

The Washington Huskies, led by the 18 points of Justin Dentmon and the 16 each from Spencer Hawes and Quincy Pondexter, ran up and down the court and wore out the Portland State Vikings defensively to the tune of 105-73 Saturday night at Bank of America Arena.

After a 20-point loss on the road at Gonzaga, it was clear that Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and company wanted to set a blistering pace against PSU and ratchet up the intensity on the defensive side of things, and did so with solid play on the inside from Hawes, and excellent three-point shooting from Brandon Burmeister and Ryan Appleby. Dentmon, who had a horrible performance at Gonzaga, bounced back in a big way with nine rebounds and three assists to go with his team-high 18. Hawes added five blocks to his totals, just one short of his season-high.

"I felt that my push wasn't strong in the first half, so I told myself to push it harder in the second half," said Dentmon. "Once I pushed it harder, more stuff opened up. I think that's what changed."

Washington (8-1) had a 20-4 edge in fast-break points, and Portland State (7-4) just could not put the ball in the hole from deep (8-28 from 3) when they needed a scoring burst. Overall, the Huskies held the Vikings to a .358 shooting percentage for the game, the second-lowest percentage all year long (.354 against Sacramento State).

"Our defensive effort was the best it's been all year and that was the catalyst for everything else we did," Romar said after the game.

"They did a great job with their transitional offense," added Portland State Head Coach Ken Bone, a one-time UW assistant under Romar. "They were really pushing it but I was impressed by by their shot selection."

Ryan Sommer led the Vikings with 14 points, followed by the 12 of Paul Hafford and 11 each from Juma Kamara and Deonte Huff.

Washington was the beneficiary of very balanced play, as seven players scored at least nine points and six players had at least four rebounds each, led by the nine of Dentmon and the seven of freshman forward Phil Nelson. The only player that didn't score for the Huskies was one of their starters - Adrian Oliver - who suffered from foul trouble the whole night. At some point during the game he suffered a concussion, but when asked after the game Romar believed it was not a serious concussion.

Not only did the Huskies outscore the Vikings by 32 on the final scoreboard, but they out-rebounded them 44-26 as well.

The Huskies - who finished the game 37-62 overall (.597) and 9-18 from three - shot the cover off the ball during the first half, as they went 19-33 from the field and 6-10 from three - led by 12 from Hawes and 11 from Pondexter. And UW's defense improved, as they held a potent PSU team to .333 from the field in the first half, and would have had a 16-point lead at half if it weren't for a prayer three from 25 feet banked in by Deonte Huff as time expired.

Their shooting percentage was higher than any game during the 2005-06 season, and the Huskies' last 100-point game was when they defeated Nicholls State 102-74 in their second game of the season.

Washington led by as many as 19 in the first half after a Pondexter layin put UW up 35-16 with 6:48 left and extended that lead in the second period by as many as 38, the last at 103-65 with 2:01 left in the contest after two freethrows by Hans Gasser.
Statistics:
Points: Dentmon 18, Hawes 16, Pondexter 16, Appleby 15, Burmeister 11, Brockman 9, Nelson 9, Gasser 6, Wallace 5
Rebounds: Dentmon 9, Nelson 7, Hawes 4, Burmeister 4, Pondexter 4, Brockman 4, Gasser 3, Oliver 2, Wallace 2
Assists: Appleby 5, Oliver 3, Dentmon 3, Pondexter 2, Nelson 2, Hawes 1, Burmeister 1
Blocks: Hawes 5, Appleby 1
Steals: Dentmon 2, Appleby 2, Brockman 1, Oliver 1, Nelson 1

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