Nov. 15, 2009
SEATTLE (AP)--Quincy Pondexter scored 20 of his career-high 29 in the first half, and No. 14 Washington overwhelmed Portland State 111-55 on Sunday night.
The Vikings had no answer in trying to slow down the Huskies lone senior. Whether it was following up missed shots, finding open space without the ball or taking it himself off the dribble, Pondexter put in perhaps one of the most efficient performances in Washington history.
He made 11 of 12 shots, missing only a tip-in that he immediately followed up for a basket. He made his first seven free throws before clanking his final attempt off the back of the rim to leave him at 29 points. He matched his career high with 13 rebounds and checked out with 11 minutes remaining.
Isaiah Thomas added 21 for Washington (3-0) who swept the three-day, round-robin Athletes in Action Classic.
Jamie Jones led Portland State (0-3) with 14 points and one-time Washington reserve Phil Nelson added 13. But this wasn't a very welcome return to Seattle for Nelson, who averaged nearly 15 minutes per game as a freshman for the Huskies in 2006-07.
Washington stunningly turned a 15-12 deficit early in the first half into a 40-point cushion. But even as the Huskies held a 46-point lead, Pondexter was diving on the ground trying to snag a loose ball at the defensive end. Washington won every hustle category, outrebounding the Vikings 47-16, grabbing 10 steals and forcing 20 turnovers.
It was Washington's first 100-point game since beating Portland State 105-73 in 2007 and biggest win since a 67-point romp of Morgan State in 2006.
For the second straight night, the Huskies used a first-half spurt to pull away. But this turnaround was even more swift than Saturday night against Belmont.
Washington trailed 15-12 after Nelson hit an open 3, as the Vikings made seven of their first 11 shots. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was so incensed as the Huskies lack of defense that he instantly called time out and yanked Thomas.
That apparently was the spark Washington needed. Over the next 5 1/2 minutes, the Huskies put on a clinic of transition basketball. Portland State missed seven straight shots and Washington began a track meet.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning started the Huskies 22-2 run with a three-point play, but everyone got involved. Venoy Overton went sprinting down the lane for a layup, Darnell Gant dropped a baseline jumper, Elston Turner hit from the perimeter and defensive stalwart Justin Holiday dropped a 3-pointer to go along with a textbook finger roll.
Then there was Pondexter. He scored 12 in the closing minutes of the half, but also shut down Nelson, who was in the same recruiting class at Washington. After scoring nine points in the first six minutes, Nelson was held to just four the rest of the way and missed all four of his shots in the second half.
Washington shot 58 percent in the first half and the number would have been even better if not for a 3-for-15 effort from its trio of point guards-- Overton, Thomas and Abdul Gaddy.