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November 16, 2009

Huskies win big against Portland State 111-55

The Huskies defeated the Portland State Vikings 111-55 Sunday Night at the Bank of America Arena in the final game of the Athletes in Action Classic to raise their record to 3-0.

The Least You Should Know:

The Dawgs were absolutely dominant tonight. The entire team played hard, and played well.

Quincy Pondexter had his best game statistically as a Husky, filling up the box score with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists. Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and six boards.

The game was over before halftime (55-29), and much of the crowd left with about 7:30 to go. WashingtonPortland State 47-16, and shot 61% to PSU's 40%. out-rebounded

Huskies dominant all the way around:

Three nights, three trademark games for three Husky ballers.

Isaiah Thomas had his career-high of 30 points on Friday night. Then, Matthew Bryan-Amaning tied his career-scoring high in what was arguably his best game as a Husky on Saturday with 23 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. On Friday and Saturday, Quincy Pondexter was everything the Huskies needed him to be -- except he wasn't the big story.

On Sunday night, the Huskies dominated in nearly every statistical category as they dismantled the Portland State Vikings, 111-55, at Bank of America Arena to finish off a perfect 3-0 start to the season. Quincy Pondexter led the charge with 29 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs.

"He had a lot of easy buckets. . . Just being aggressive, and him just working harder than everybody else," teammate Isaiah Thomas said of Pondexter's performance.

Pondexter hesitated to call it his best game as a Husky, saying he thought he'd had better, even if the stat sheet said otherwise. "I just think about the close games," he said, pointing out less gaudy statistical performances, such as last season's critical win at USC late in the year. "I don't think about necessarily scoring points. I just think about the close games when our team needs me."

Husky coach Lorenzo Romar pointed to his team's defense and hustle, particularly when the score had long been decided, as evidence that his team may be on the way to realizing its potential.

"When you're up 50 points, and there's a loose ball, and Scott Suggs dives on the floor. . . those are the things I'm really pleased with tonight," said Romar. "Those are the things that may suggest habits are forming. That you play that way all the time."

While fans may debate whether he or Abdul Gaddy should start in the Husky backcourt, Venoy Overton had a very strong overall game for the Huskies, finishing with 11 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

"We came out and just played defense," said Thomas. "It started with Venoy, we got a couple of steals, and we just played our heart out."

Thomas had 21 points and six rebounds for the Huskies, and averaged 24.3 points per game in the Huskies' first three contests. Last night's star, Bryan-Amaning was quieter on offense this evening, finishing with eight points and seven rebounds.

Thomas, Bryan-Amaning, and Pondexter were all named to the Athletes in Action Classic all-tournament team, with Pondexter and Thomas sharing co-MVP honors.

Justin Holiday also posted his career-high in both points and assists with ten and five respectively. Not known over his two seasons at UW as an offensive threat, before yesterday's game when he made eight field goal attempts, he'd never tried shot more than four times in a game as a Husky.

"He said he was gonna be aggressive and let it fly. We know he's gonna play D, but if we get a little offense from him, that's good," Overton said of Holiday's performance.

Analysis and observation:

This was more of an utter and complete blowout than any game last season. I couldn't see last year's team doing what the Dawgs did tonight. There may be better starting fives out there, but I can't imagine a team that goes one through eleven the way we do.

Round three of the point guard battle goes to Venoy, although Gaddy looked good tonight as well, finishing with nine points and four assists. Once Gaddy picks it up on defense, it's going to be a tough task for Coach to decide which guy he doesn't want on the court during crunchtime.

Husky of the Game: Quincy Pondexter, who looks more than ready to compete for player-of-the-year honors in the Pac-10.

Tyreese Breshers was held out of the game after hurting his finger last night. Coach didn't think it was broken, but said it hurt for Breshers to grip the basketball. I assume he'll be back Friday night, but no word yet.

He's much improved, but I'm still convinced Scott Suggs should be #10 or #11 in the pecking order of the rotation. Coach clearly wants to see what he's got in the former Missouri Mr. Basketball -- he played 19 minutes tonight, finishing with six points, three rebounds and two turnovers.

None of the current Huskies had been part of a 50-point victory before tonight. A quick look at the record book tells me that this was the most decisive win for the Huskies since the 2005/2006 season opener against Morgan State, which the Huskies won 118-51.

The full all-tournament team was: Todd Brown (Wright State), Troy Tabler (Wright State), Scott Sanders (Belmont), MBA, Quincy, and Isaiah. UW won the event, going 3-0, Wright State finished 2-1, Belmont was 1-2, and Portland State failed to win, finishing 0-3.

The Huskies now get a few days off, before facing off against San Jose State at 8 PM on Friday evening at Hec Ed.


Josh Anderson is the publisher of Montlake Madness, a 100 percent free fan site dedicated to University of Washington basketball. UDUBsports.com will be teaming up with Josh for the basketball season to provide even more comprehensive coverage of all the action!


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