Huskies top Texas Southern 88-52

SEATTLE - With Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon not having their typical high scoring nights, the Washington Huskies needed another offensive threat. They turned to sophomore Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who had his best game of his young career going 8-8 from the field for a total of 18 points, leading the Huskies over Texas Southern 88-52 Saturday night at Bank of America Arena.

Bryan-Amaning continually out-muscled his opponent and got easy lay-ups. He also excited the home crowd with a huge put-back slam in the second half. He showed off his improved footwork multiple times with nice drop steps and went up strong to the hoop for easy buckets. He also showed off some nice passing with two good-looking assists in traffic.

The Huskies relentless defensive pressure again flustered their opponents and led to an easy victory. With all the close looks in the paint, Washington was able to shot 59.3 percent from the field, including 67 percent in the second half. Jon Brockman contributed to the high shooting percentage by going 7-8 from the field for a total of 15 points.

Quincy Pondexter also had another strong performance Saturday night with 13 points. He didn't rebound as well as he usually does but he did have 8 assists. He showed off his nice vision by picking apart Texas Southern's zone from the top of the key. The main beneficiaries were usually Brockman and Bryan-Amanaing. If Pondexter can continue to knock down mid-range jumpers it will become even tougher for opposing teams to zone the Huskies. Thomas was the last of the four Huskies to score in double-digits with 10 points.

"Quincy Pondexter I thought played really well with his eight assists. I also thought that Matthew Bryan- Amaning played well on the offensive end of the floor," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. "I thought the key to the game were the points scored in the paint," Texas Southern Head Coach Tony Harvey added. "Washington really beat us up inside. I thought that (Jon) Brockman played really well tonight and the post players off of the bench came in and did a really nice job. (Quincy) Pondexter had a really good game tonight."

It appears as if the defensive energy brought by Justin Holiday and Darnell Gant is rubbing off on their teammates. Gant set the tone early on the defensive end with big time blocks and Bryan-Amaning demonstrated his ability to apply pressure by constantly deflecting passes, registering two steals. His ability to pick up guards off screens and anticipate passes led to many offensive opportunities for the team.

"We were really focused on the defensive end tonight. Our plan was to come out and work hard on the defensive end and take our time on offense," said Gant. "We have really been working to dive on every loose ball in practice and I thought our work showed tonight."

Texas Southern also did their part to help let UW win by only shooting 4-16 from the free throw line. The missed freebies seemed to deflate the Tigers' confidence and put them in a slump. They also only shot 43.1 percent from the field, usually resorting to longer jump shots since the Huskies did a nice job of clogging the middle.

Despite a plethora of positives, coach Romar sees a need for improvement in some areas. "I think we allowed too many offensive rebounds in the second half, and we had too many turnovers in this type of game," he said. "We were tentative tonight against the trap and the press: Against Oklahoma State we were aggressive and took advantage of their aggressive defense, but tonight it looked like at times we were thinking too much. We still have work to do but there were a lot of positives tonight."
Points: Bryan-Amaning 18, Brockman 15, Pondexter 13, Thomas 10, Dentmon 9, Gant 8, Overton 5, Wallace 4, Suggs 3, Wolfinger 3
Rebounds: Brockman 11, Bryan-Amaning 5, Wallace 5, Gant 3, Turner 3, Pondexter 2, Overton 2, Suggs 2, TEAM 2, Dentmon 1
Assists: Pondexter 8, Dentmon 5, Thomas 3, Holiday 3, Overton 2, Bryan-Amaning 2, Turner 1
Steals: Brockman 2, Dentmon 2, Bryan-Amaning 2, Overton 1, Wallace 1, Turner 1
Blocks: Gant 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Wolfinger 1 Top Stories