"Playing defense is fun, especially when we have a maniac like Venoy Overton pesterizing the other team's point guard," Pondexter said. "It's kind of like when you see those old, really good defensive football teams. Those teams win championships and that's how we see ourselves."
Two nights later, the Huskies (10-3, 1-1) were wondering where all that defensive intensity went during a 90-79 home loss to upstart Oregon.
"We allowed too much penetration with them and they're a good shooting basketball team," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They're good at moving that ball around and they've got great shooters on the other end of those passes.
"I didn't think we had the Husky grit that we needed to have to get this done tonight. I think maybe that was missing tonight."
Oregon shot 53 percent against the Huskies and turned the ball over just eight times.
Pondexter wondered if the Huskies have gotten a bit full of themselves.
"I do sense that sometimes," he said. "It's one of those things where I'm not like most of those guys. We all have different personalities on this team. I wouldn't say it's a problem or anything, but that's how those guys are. They carry a chip on their shoulder.
"Maybe we got a little bit ahead of ourselves in the cocky standpoint. We need to be a lot better on the court before we try to have a flamboyant style."
- The loss to Oregon snapped UW's 18-game home winning streak, dating to last year's 88-85 triple-overtime loss to Cal.
- Washington ranked just ninth in the conference in 3-point accuracy at 31.2 percent after shooting 10-for-33 from beyond the arc against Oregon State and Oregon.
ON THE SPOT: The Huskies have relied to some degree on their frenetic pressure defense. But Oregon proved UW is vulnerable defensively unless it can take the ball away. The Ducks surrendered just eight turnovers and used the extra offensive possessions to run up 90 points.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Oregon outplayed us. There's not much you can say. We didn't come with the same heart, desire and passion they had." -- Washington senior Quincy Pondexter.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Quincy Pondexter, F Darnell Gant, C Matthew Amaning-Bryan, G Abdul Gaddy, G Isaiah Thomas. Key Subs -- G Venoy Overton, F Justin Holiday, G Scott Suggs, F Tyreese Breshers.
- Washington 86, San Francisco 71
Washington 76, Oregon State 70
Oregon 90, Washington 79
- at Arizona State, Friday, Jan. 8
at Arizona, Sunday, Jan. 10
vs. Stanford, Thursday, Jan. 14
at UCLA, Thursday, Jan. 21
at USC, Saturday, Jan. 23
IN FOCUS: After being outdueled in a wide-open sprint with Oregon, the Huskies will face a different kind of assignment against Arizona State and its matchup zone defense. ASU is tough at home and Washington must deal with senior PG Derek Glasser and a team that shoots lots of 3-pointers. Washington won both regular-season games a year ago, but ASU prevailed at the Pac-10 tournament.
- Senior F Quincy Pondexter had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Oregon State, then contributed 16 points and six rebounds against Oregon.
- The Huskies' sixth man, G Venoy Overton had 13 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals against OSU, and 14 points against Oregon.
- G Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points against Oregon, but shot just 6-for-17 from the field. He was making just 32.6 percent (17-for-52) over four games entering the Arizona State contest.