Overton Right On Time in Win

SEATTLE - Washington's Venoy Overton was held out until the first TV timeout of the Huskies' game Sunday night against Montana, due to missing his pre-game warmup. But when it mattered most, the junior guard was right where he needed to be, blocking a game-tying 3-point shot and preserving a dramatic 63-59 win over the Griz at Bank of America Arena.

With the Huskies up three and time winding down, the 5-foot-11 Overton - who gave UW a 3-point cushion with two free throws - blocked a 3-pointer by Montana's Anthony Johnson and then was fouled with 4.1 seconds left. He made the second of two free throws, giving the Huskies their margin of victory.

The Seattle Marathon created a detour for Overton, who was 30 minutes late to the Huskies' shootaround, and in turn Overton put up a roadblock on Johnson. "Coach Chill (UW Assistant Raphael Chillious) kept telling me when Johnson crossed over and came to his left, that's when he was most likely going to shoot, so I timed it right," Overton said after the game. "I got the block."

The Huskies were led in scoring by the 13 points of Isaiah Thomas. Elston Turner added 11, while Overton was the only other UW player in double-figures, scoring 10. Matthew Bryan-Amaning led Washington in rebounding, with eight to go with his eight points, while Quincy Pondexter's seven points and seven rebounds meant the senior forward missed a double-double for only the second time all season. It's also only the second time he's scored less than 10 points in his last 19 games.

The Griz, who beat Oregon by 13 on Nov. 23, put up a stern zone defense and packed it in the paint, daring Washington to shoot. The result? 8-33 shooting for Washington in the first half, including 3-11 from 3-point range.

"We were really tested," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "I think we had some pretty good looks; we missed some layups and some wide open shots. They weren't able to go down, but they'll go down. They went down more in the second half.

"Our guys continued to chip away and we were able to come up with the victory."

"I thought our guys showed a lot of heart," Montana Head Coach Wayne Tinkle said after the game. "We took the 14th-ranked team in the country down to the wire, and I really felt like we gave it back to them in the closing minutes. I'm proud of our guys for their effort and hanging in there, but we really squandered a great opportunity tonight."

Will Cherry, followed by the 13 points and 14 rebounds of center Brian Qvale. Johnson chipped in 10. Former Lake Washington High grad Brian Staudacher added eight points.

Down five at the half, Montana came out gunning, taking their biggest lead of the game at 12 with 14:30 remaining after a made jumper by Cherry. But the Huskies went on an 18-6 extended run the next five minutes, capped by a Thomas 3-pointer to tie the game at 44.

"I had to try something new," Thomas said, noting a shoe change at halftime. "The new Jordans weren't working; I had to put the Kobes on."

During that run, the Huskies received points from Turner, Tyreese Breshers, Darnell Gant and Clarence Trent. Overall, Washington's bench outscored Montana's 31-8.

"The MVP of this game was our bench," Romar said. "We were looking for different combinations…guys that could make a shot."

"Without some of our key reserves we wouldn't have gotten this win because they provided a lot of energy when our team was down," added Pondexter.

With a hard-fought win behind them, the Huskies now hit the road for the first time as they take on Texas Tech December 3rd as part of the Big-12/Pac-10 Challenge series. "I'm glad we were able to play this game before we hit the road, because I think it's going to make us better mentally for Thursday night," Romar said.
Starting lineup changes: Overton was replaced by freshman Abdul Gaddy in Sunday night's lineup, giving Gaddy his first college start. It was also the first start for forward Tyreese Breshers. Romar noted he's the best rebounder on the team per minute, and deserved the start due to his play. Gaddy finished the night with no points, but did have two assists in his 17 minutes of play. Breshers finished with four points and two board in his 16 minutes of action. All eleven Huskies on scholarship saw minutes for the Huskies on Sunday.

Points: Thomas 13, Turner 11, Overton 10, Bryan-Amaning 8, Pondexter 7, Breshers 4, Suggs 3, Holiday 3, Trent 2, Gant 2
Rebounds: Bryan-Amaning 8, Pondexter 7, Turner 5, Gant 4, TEAM 4, Overton 3, Holiday 3, Breshers 2, Trent 2, Thomas 1, Suggs 1
Assists: Overton 4, Thomas 3, Gaddy 2, Pondexter 2
Steals: Pondexter 3, Bryan-Amaning 2, Thomas 1
Blocks: Overton 1

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