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November 13, 2010

Huskies open season with lopsided victory

Isaiah Thomas couldn't miss from long range.

Even if he had, odds are his University of Washington teammates would have been there to corral the offensive rebound.

Thomas scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half - going 4-for-4 from 3-point territory - and the Huskies dominated the offensive glass, holding a decisive 30-8 advantage, as No. 18 Washington tipped off the new season of men's basketball with a lopsided 118-64 victory over an undermanned McNeese State squad at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday.

Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning led all scorers with a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting and collected 13 rebounds - two off his career best - in a stellar all-around performance by the 6-foot-9 senior forward.

The Huskies (1-0) also received double-digit points from Aziz N'Diaye (13 points), C.J. Wilcox (13), Justin Holiday (11), Scott Suggs (11) and Abdul Gaddy (10) as the team shot 46.7 percent from the field (43-of-92) and 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc (12-of-30).

"Maybe for about four or five minutes we lost focus," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Saturday, "but overall we did a pretty good job."

The 118 points were the third highest in school history and the most since a 123-point effort last season in a 47-point win against Seattle University.

N'Diaye, a 7-foot sophomore transfer from College of Southern Idaho, posted a game-high 15 boards with nine coming on the offensive end, while Holiday added 12 rebounds, helping the Huskies outrebound McNeese State, 69-32.

Patrick Richard opened the game by sinking a 3-pointer on NcNeese State's first possession.

It was all downhill from there for the Cowboys as the team missed its next 12 shots from the field.

Washington used a 17-1 run to grab a 17-4 lead on a Bryan-Amaning jumper 5 minutes into the contest, then reeled off an 18-0 run, making it a 35-6 game on a Thomas 3-pointer with 9:20 left in the first half.

A Gaddy bucket with just over 5 minutes remaining in the first half capped a 36-3 run by the Huskies, giving them a commanding 53-9 cushion.

Thomas, a junior guard out of Curtis High School, hit three consecutive 3-pointers during a first-half stretch as Washington led 61-19 at the intermission.

The Huskies posted their largest lead, 110-52, with 3:32 left in the contest.

Richard paced McNeese State, which finished 10-20 last season in the Southland Conference, with 18 points, while Diego Kapelan scored 15 for the Cowboys.

Washington, which went 20-for-42 from the free throw line, also received seven points and five rebounds from forward Darnell Gant and six points and five rebounds from guard Terrence Ross.

The Huskies returns to the court on Tuesday when they host Eastern Washington. Washington then travels to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational where it opens the tournament on Nov. 22 against Virginia.




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