10 lead changes in the first half pretty much say it all. The first 20 minutes was a boxing match, back and forth. It had its share of sloppy moments.
A Justin Dentmon tough 12 foot leaner in the lane put the Huskies on the board first.
Mitch Johnson over Isaiah Thomas answered and the two were out of the blocks.
Quincy Pondexter knocked down his first attempt, a 16-foot baseline jumper. He followed that up with a three pointer from the same baseline. It was a good sign as Pondexter carried the offensive load in the first 20 minutes with 13 points.
Dentmon sparked the Huskies early when he threw the ball away to Mitch Johnson, but recovered quick enough to come back and reject Johnson's lay-up attempt at the other end.
Washington looked to be moving to a comfortable lead but two missed free throws by Thomas were followed by a Will Paul three pointer and a Landry Fields free throw as the Cardinal took their first lead of the game at 10-9.
One bugaboo that crept into the Huskies game early on was free throws. That cold shooting at the line found its way into the field as Washington failed to convert several open shots, including a 5-on-1 fast break. Back-to-back Husky turnovers allowed the Cardinal to make an 8-0 run. With 8:51 left in the half, the home team was up 22-15.
Out of the timeout, Jeremy Green nailed a long three and Washington was down double-digits and looking like they were going to hang their heads.
Pondexter finally stopped the bleeding by making a pair of free throws. That seemed to get the Huskies fired up as Stanford turned the ball over under some tough Husky defense. Isaiah Thomas drove the lane in fast break and made a tough left-handed banker while drawing the foul. He missed the free throw, however.
Thomas made up for it by taking a long pass and making a tough reverse spinning lay-in on the ensuing possession.
Pondexter had another follow tip-in of his own miss and that was followed by a Venoy Overton steal and breakaway dunk pulled the Huskies to within 2. Stanford continued to turn the ball over and Jon Brockman was able to make a banker in the lane to tie the game at 29-all.
Overton really provided a good spark off of the bench, with two assists and five points. He should've had more assists but twice his passes were bobbled and not converted. Two Jon Brockman free throws put the Huskies on top 35-34 at the half.
Stanford hit four of eight from three-point range to stay close while Washington scored 20 of their 35 points from 10 feet or closer. The second half might be a battle of whether the Huskies can hit their free throws or whether Stanford can continue nailing deep threes.
At the half
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