Huskies Put Portland on Auto-Pilot

SEATTLE - In the fourteenth encounter between the University of Washington and Portland, it was the Huskies that rose to the challenge, winning by a score of 89-54 Saturday night at Bank of America Arena. It tied the largest victory ever over the Pilots.

Even though the game was being billed as a potential upset, Washington (7-2) came out looking like the team that we saw in the first three games of the season. Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said that this might have been the best game of the season thus far. Not even Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a Portland grad who was at BoA for the game, could save his alma mater.

"With the exception of the first seven minutes of the second-half, I thought we played as well as we've played since Portland State tonight and maybe even better," Romar said. "We were on a stretch where we had one a few and lost some and in the midst of it still haven't really put a good efficient effort together and I thought tonight that we made progress."

During the first-half the Dawgs were clicking on all cylinders and couldn't do wrong. Turning the ball over only two times, one of which they got immediately back on a steal by Justin Holiday, the team that lost the ball 25 times in the Georgetown game was seemingly gone that quickly.

Leading the way at half-time for the Huskies was Isaiah Thomas with 12 points on 3-3 3-point shooting and three points from the charity stripe. Venoy Overton also had an offensive outburst in the half, with 11 points on 4-5 shooting.

On the defensive end of the ball the Huskies truly shined, limiting the Pilots (6-4) to just 17 points on 4-15 shooting from the floor during the first 20 minutes of play. Their suffocating defense also forced 12 turnovers. One of the turnovers came off a shot-clock violation after Portland had called timeout. The Huskies outscored Portland 35-12 off of turnovers, and 12-2 on the fast break. They also trounced the Pilots in bench scoring, 45-14.

Although the Pilots are known for their strong 3-point shooting, they only attempted five shots from beyond the arc and didn't connect on any of them.

The Huskies continued their strong play in the second-half as they outscored the Pilots 42-37.

Rising up and having a solid game tonight was sophomore guard Scott Suggs. In the first-half he had six points on 2-4 shooting from beyond the arc. He came out fast in the second-half, scoring another seven. Senior captain Quincy Pondexter said that they have been waiting for a guy to step-up off of the bench, and Saturday night it was Suggs.

"Scott is a good player," Pondexter said. "He is still learning and is young. For him to do what he did off the bench tonight was great for us. We have been waiting for someone to step-up in that group of players and he did a great job tonight."

The Huskies finished with four players in double figures, with Pondexter and Thomas leading the way 17 and 16 points, respectively. Thomas also had eight assists and no turnovers.

On the Portland side, senior Nik Raivio played a scrappy game and was in on almost every play. He finished with 13 points on just 2-9 shooting from the field, but he went to the line 15 times, making nine.

Falling out of the rotation tonight for the Huskies was Clarence Trent who got his first taste of action with 5:14 left in the game when it was already out of hand at 77-46. Walk-on Brendan Sherrer also got into the game for the final two minutes; however he never saw the ball.

The win over Portland moves the Huskies to 7-2 and drops the Pilots to 6-4. Next up for the Huskies will be the 9-2 Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Bank of America Arena.
Points: Pondexter 17, Thomas 16, Suggs 13, Overton 11, Bryan-Amaning 7, Turner 7, Holiday 5, Breshers 5, Gant 4, Trent 4
Rebounds: Bryan-Amaning 7, Holiday 7, TEAM 4, Gant 3, Trent 3, Breshers 3, Thomas 2, Overton 2, Turner 2, Gaddy 1, Pondexter 1, Suggs 1
Assists: Thomas 8, Overton 3, Gaddy 2, Turner 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Gant 1, Pondexter 1, Suggs 1, Holiday 1
Steals: Pondexter 2, Overton 2, Suggs 2, Turner 2, Thomas 1, Gaddy 1, Trent 1, Holiday 1
Blocks: Bryan-Amaning 1, Pondexter 1, Overton 1, Turner 1 Top Stories