Huskies find ways to score

SEATTLE - Cal-State Northridge was intent on shutting down Ryan Appleby. With the Matadors often picking the Washington sharpshooter up the length of the floor, it forced the Washington Huskies to win the old-fashioned way - the Jon Brockman way. The junior forward racked up another double-double, as UW pulled away in the second half en route to an 80-66 win Saturday at BoA.

The name of the game Saturday was attrition, and the Matadors suffered from foul trouble early. Only Northridge's Calvin Chitwood fouled out, but the 27 personal fouls committed by Northridge allowed the Huskies 34 opportunities at the foul line. They only cashed in 21 times, or else the game would have been a little more wide open.

"One of our best players had two fouls in the first three minutes of the game," Northridge Head Coach Bobby Braswell said after the game. "We did commit a lot of fouls, and we didn't play with our feet, but I think our biggest problem was we didn't rebound the ball. They go way too many second shots and Brockman got us in some foul trouble down there. We have got to get bigger and stronger somehow."

The Huskies out-rebounded Northridge 42-29.

"Coach Braswell does a nice job year-in and year-out," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said of the Matadors. "They have a lot of fight in them and did a good job. I don't think we took a big step tonight. I don't feel like we improved defensively. At times we forced them into bad shots, but I don't think we're going to look back at this night as one where we took another huge step. I don't think that's the case."

Brockman had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead a balanced Husky attack. Justin Dentmon poured in 18 points, Venoy Overton added 14 (12 from 3-point range), and Tim Morris contributed 12 points to the cause.

"I wasn't thinking about nothing," Dentmon said. "It felt like a pickup game. We were trying to get everyone involved. We just felt confident, and if we play defense the offense would come."

The junior from Carbondale, Ill. has been in an unusual position the last few games - reserve. Romar has tried to make a statement by starting his top-five defensive players, and even though Dentmon played starter-type minutes (29), he's not satisfied coming off the bench.

"I'm trying to get my spot back," he said, matter-of-factly. "I'm playing hard and trying to play defense. If I continue to do things right, everything else will fall into place."

Overton's points included four 3-pointers, which matched the entire number of treys he had made for the entire season (4-20). "They were leaving me open," Overton said of his hot shooting night. He didn't miss a shot (5-5). "I heard their coach say that they were going to take that. My shot was going tonight, I guess."

Josh Jenkins led the Matadors (7-3) with 17 points, and Jonathan Heard chipped in 14.

Northridge - down by nine at the half - went on a 7-0 run to start the second half, and the Huskies did not score until Quincy Pondexter followed his own miss with a made layup with just under 16 minutes left in the game. Jenkins hit a 3-point shot to draw the Matadors' deficit down to four at 58-54, but back-to-back-to-back three-point plays by Morris, Dentmon and Overton helped extend Washington's lead to 16 with 5:15 left.

"They were a good team, shot the ball well," Overton said. "They came at us, they never backed down. But we just wanted it a little bit more."

Appleby - who had scored 18 points in his last two games, was a non-factor, especially when it appeared he went out with less than five minutes to go in the first half with back spasms. But the Huskies were ready, willing and able to step up and distribute the scoring load, especially when it came to the guards. Northridge tried a lot of pressure early - even going into a couple of box-and-one situations defensively against both Appleby and Dentmon, but that led to some wide-open looks.

"Everybody is capable of hitting big shots, and when App's not in his mood, we're going to have to find another way to put points on the board," Overton said.

"It was a game for the guards," added Dentmon. "They had big guards. They could play, dribble and shoot the ball. I knew it was going to be an up-tempo game."
Statistics:
Points: Brockman 21, Dentmon 18, Overton 14, Morris 13, Smith 8, Bryan-Amaning 4, Pondexter 2
Rebounds: Brockman 10, Bryan-Amaning 6, Dentmon 5, TEAM 5, Wallace 4, Morris 4, Smith 3, Pondexter 2, Appleby 1, Overton 1, Wolfinger 1
Assists: Brockman 3, Overton 3, Dentmon 3, Pondexter 3, Morris 2, Wallace 1, Bryan-Amaning 1
Steals: Bryan-Amaning 3, Overton 2, Wallace 1, Morris 1, Dentmon 1
Blocks: Brockman 1


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