Huskies OK after dose of Diederichs

SEATTLE - After spending a long off-season contemplating what went wrong last year, the Washington Huskies returned to Bank of America Arena with several new faces and a return to the up-tempo pace that characterized the teams of years' past. Clearly, they're going to need some time to figure out what exactly they have.

From the outset, it was clear that the Seattle Pacific Falcons were not going to go quietly. Fresh off a 80-73 defeat at the hands of the Nevada Wolfpack Saturday night, SPU was primed for a battle, and they came prepared, led by brilliant shooting of forward Rob Diedrichs of Shorewood High School. Deidrichs was unstoppable, blistering the Dawgs for 36 points, but the Huskies kept their cool and came away with an 86-77 exhibition win Monday night.

Were it not for the spectacular debut of freshman Venoy Overton, the Dawgs might be singing an entirely different tune after the game. Overton was sensational at times, ending the night with 16 points, four assists and five rebounds. Despite some careless play that resulted in four turnovers, it was the Franklin High grad's relentless attack that kept the Dawgs in the game.

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar substituted liberally in the first half, using 11 different players as he experimented with different combinations. All four freshmen played, and with mixed results. Highly-touted forward Mathew Bryan-Amaning looked uncomfortable in his debut, while Darnell Gant quickly established himself defensively.

With Brockman sidelined by foul trouble most of the second half, the Dawgs turned to a guard oriented attack with Overton and Justin Dentmon (11 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds in 21 minutes) playing side by side and demanding constant attention.

The Falcons clogged the middle with 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Rob Will of O'Dea High School - who ended the night with four blocks. The Huskies were minus the services of senior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby, due to Appleby's fractured thumb, so they used the constant pressure of Overton and Dentmon to keep the Falcons off balance. SPU seemingly had an answer for every Husky bucket though - especially Diedrichs, who went 15 of 23 from the field - matching the Dawgs' level of intensity and hustle, while exploiting a UW back door that was left open too many times.

In the end Washington emerged with a hard-fought win, due largely to Brockman's timely return. He led the Huskies with 18 points and eight rebounds in just 26 minutes of play.

The Dawgs now have a week to tweak the rotation before tipping off against New Jersey Tech in the first round of the NIT next Tuesday at BoA. night.
Statistics:
Points: Brockman 18, Overton 16, Dentmon 11, Smith 9, Pondexter 8, Oliver 6, Morris 6, Wallace 6, Bryan-Amaning 4, Gant 2
Rebounds: Brockman 8, Pondexter 5, Overton 5, Smith 4, Bryan-Amaning 4, Wolfinger 3, Morris 3, Wallace 3, TEAM 3, Dentmon 2, Oliver 1, Gant 1
Assists: Smith 4, Overton 4, Dentmon 3, Oliver 3, Pondexter 1, Brockman 1, Morris 1, Bryan-Amaning 1
Steals: Smith 2, Dentmon 1, Oliver 1, Morris 1, Holiday 1


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