Portland State - Notes and Quotes

The Washington Huskies defeated Portland State 105-73 on Saturday, and it wasn't that close. Except for a miracle 3-point bucket to keep the deficit to only 13 at the break, the Huskies used a suffocating defense and a high-energy attack to make things very difficult for former UW assistant Ken Bone and his Vikings.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On the turnaround: "This week during practice we felt that we made progress, but we crossed our fingers and knocked on wood and waited to see what would happen, but tonight was what we've been wanting to see in our previous eight games, for 40 minutes we played the type of Husky basketball that we are working toward playing. Our defensive effort was the best it's been all year and that was the catalyst for everything else we did."

On the biggest difference between this game and their last (a 20-point loss to Gonzaga): "It's hard to say just what it is, but with every game we play with this team we hope to get better. We aren't near where we need to be, but we made progress. I'm not good with predictions, but one thing I predicted before the season started was that this team was going to be up and down from the beginning. We're 8-1 in spite of not playing the greatest basketball at times. I would have been surprised if we would have been a juggernaut from Day One. It's very refreshing to see that guys are getting better. We were as much a team as we've been all year."

On what improved against PSU: "Intensity and focus. Guys were in the proper position defensively. Offensively, we shared the basketball. We had too many turnovers to start with, but in the second half for a long stretch we only had five. We got the ball more inside. We did more the things that we've been practicing."

On Spencer Hawes: "I thought we got him the ball. As I've said, early on Spencer hadn't practiced with us for five weekes, but it just took our guys a little while to get used to getting the ball inside to him. Tonight he still played well, but he was like Brandon Roy last year when everyone would ask what was wrong with him when he didn't score over 20 points. There is nothing wrong., it's just that everyone else was getting open for shots. I thought that we moved the ball around well."

On keeping the level of play high and consistent: "If we can play this level of defense then we are going to have a very successful season. That is not the issue. It is just a matter of if we can string multiple games together."

On Justin Dentmon: "Justin gets lost in the game. When he does that, not only is it good for him but it is good for our team. He just is playing good basketball and trying to do whatever it takes to win. He does it all at al high level, rarely in his two years has he played well and we didn't win."
Portland State Head Coach Ken Bone:
On the positives of the game: "Nobody was injured. It was not a pretty loss. Fortunately we have a game in three days and hopefully we rebound, both figuratively and literally. We need to do a better job of playing. They are bigger and better. In my mind they are bigger, stronger and better. We were undersized, but I am disappointed that we didn't execute better. We needed to be a little more disciplined defensively, we were just going for steals and not staying at home guarding the bucket. Part of that had to do with the guys trying hard."

On Washington's transitional offense: "They did a great job with their transitional offense. They were really pushing it but I was impressed by their shot selection. They pushed the ball, saw good looks at the basket and got what they wanted. We had a couple of good transition baskets."

On PSU guard Ryan Sommer: "I thought Ryan did a great job, I thought he played his heart out."
Justin Dentmon:
On going 6-10 from the field: "It was open tonight. I just went to the ball and got it."

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

On the difference between this game and the last game: "I think we played better. In practice we made progress each and every day. We just had to come out and play better defense, and that's what we did."

On Portland State: "They weren't that tough. We just focused on our rebounding and our defense and our shot selection. That was it. They hit the boards hard, you just had to concentrate on boxing them out. Once we did that, it wasn't a problem."

On looking ahead to their next game (against LSU): "We took this game as a game we needed to bounce back. We had to forget about the other game and just play hard. Now we look at LSU. We'll prepare hard."

On taking away PSU's strength: "We were focused on their big man (Scott Morrison). He shoots a good percentage. That's one thing we're going to try to do against LSU because they have bigs too."

On their defense: "Coach said it was our best defensive effort all year in terms of working hard throughout the whole game. We had some breakdowns, but we worked through it."

On getting close to a double-double: "(Washington assistant Jim) Shaw kept bugging me. He told me, 'two more rebounds, just two more rebounds'. I tried to get 'em, but they just didn't come my way. I think I would have gotten it if he hadn't told me."
Spencer Hawes:
On almost going perfect from the field: "I thought I had it too, an up-and-under. Tonight was one of those nights were I was feeling it. Everything was going in. I was getting to the right spots and things were clicking. The way I got it going early, it's always good to get off to a quick start."

On his own defensive focus: "Coach (Romar) was saying not to drift out to the perimeter, my main responsibility is covering the hoop, and I'm taking that more to heart, did a better job."

On his confidence: "It just keeps growing and growing. Each game is a test. Every game you try to boost your confidence and use it to your advantage. At Gonzaga I started out kind of slow, but I bounced back and was able to help the team. Tonight just helps more."

On if he can contain LSU's Glen 'Big Baby' Davis: "I hope so. Those are the games you look forward to, those kind of matchups. It's going to be great."

On having early success against Portland State: "They were fronting the post and we were able to execute some nice passes early and run some plays that freed me up. So that helped me get even easier touches."
Game notes:
Washington's 59.7% field goal percentage is a new season high, the previous high was 58.3% against Southern Utah. For much of the game, the Huskies shot over 60%. The last time Washington shot over 60% from the field was 2/6/99 against Arizona State.

The Huskies' 32-point victory marks the highest margin of victory this season. The previous high of 28 points was set against Nicholls State on 11/13/06.

Justin Dentmon's nine rebounds is a career-high for the sophomore. His previous high of eight was recorded against Arizona on 12/31/2005.

Spencer Hawes recorded five blocks against the Vikings, increasing his average to a team high 2.7/game. Hawes was also 7-8 from the field, the third time this season the freshman has shot over 80% from the field.

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