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January 8, 2011

Washington races to milestone start in Pac-10

Trailing by nine points late in the first half, the Washington Huskies picked up the pace and poured it on the Oregon State Beavers, rolling to a 103-72 victory Saturday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Washington stayed unbeaten after its first four games in Pacific-10 Conference play for the first time since 1984.

The Huskies, No. 23 in the Associated Press poll, improved to 12-3 overall after outscoring the Beavers, 63-33, in the second half.

"I think the second half was as close to, maybe other than Virginia, the best half we've played this year," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said.

The first half was a different story.

Oregon State started strong, using an aggressive and physical style to build a 37-28 lead with 3 minutes left in the first half.

"They came ready to play," Romar said of the Beavers, who dropped to 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the conference. "When you get after it like that and you're focused like that, good things usually happen for you."

Added Oregon State coach Craig Robinson: "We were running our offense. We weren't making turnovers, and we were playing defense, the complete opposite of the second half."

Washington didn't wait till the second half to start getting its act together as the Huskies picked up the tempo and went on a 12-2 run to take a 40-39 halftime lead.

The momentum carried into the second half as the Huskies continued their frantic pace.

Bryan-Amaning scored 10 points in the first eight minutes of the second half as the Huskies continued a 34-10 run on the Beavers.

"In the first five minutes of the second half it seemed like it flip flopped to the third power," Robinson said.

Five Huskies finished in double digits in scoring led by Bryan-Amaning's big double-double. Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points, burying four 3-pointers, and had eight assists.

Terrence Ross had 14 points, Scott Suggs 12 and Darnell Gant 10 for the Huskies, who made 10 of 26 3-pointers.

"Matthew Bryan-Amaning was the man today," Romar said. "He really played good basketball."

Yet even Bryan-Amaning wasn't completely prepared for the 1-3-1 zone defense OSU used to apply pressure, mainly on the outside arc and high post, on Washington.

"They come out and throw a different defense that you haven't seen before and you have to spend some time figuring it out," he said. "Once we did figure it out, we got used to it and were able to just go out and play."

Venoy Overton started at point guard for the second game since Abdul Gaddy went down for the season with a knee injury. Overton had eight points and seven assists, including a racing, crowd-pleasing banker at the first-half buzzer that gave Washington its one-point lead at halftime.

"We were down the whole first half and for him to go down, in the middle of about 10 dudes, and make that, it was a momentum changer," Thomas said. "We brought it into the second half."



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