Jan. 4, 2007
By Benton Strong
For the first time in his career at Washington freshman Quincy Pondexter didn't find his name in the starting lineup.
Talk about responding to being benched.
Pondexter exploded off the bench in the first half, scoring 21 points in just 12 minutes as the Huskies took a three-point lead into the break of their 96-87 loss to Arizona on Thursday night.
"It was a wake-up call," Pondexter said about being benched. "I wasn't surprised by it. Coach said he would do that at the beginning of the year. I would've done it too if I was coach."
In response to his benching, Pondexter went out and made a strong case to be inserted right back into that lineup on Saturday. He finished with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and four rebounds.
It was a game that starred five freshman, four of them in Washington jerseys. The four Huskies (Spencer Hawes, Phil Nelson, Adrian Oliver and Pondexter), along with Arizona's Chase Bundinger combined for 83 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists (eight by Oliver). Pondexter, however, led the way.
After Budinger started the game with two long three-pointers, Pondexter came in and immediately got the crowd into it with a dunk. Then, with Budinger done scoring until late in the half, Pondexter went on a rampage, scoring 15 points in less than six minutes to put Washington up 12 points, He finished the half with four straight points to bring his total to 21 for the period.
"I told Quincy, 'I thought you were trying to beat us by yourself,'" said Arizona head coach Lute Olson. "He played very well and that's the reason we were very interested in him."
- Two former Huskies and a one-time Husky signee were in the stands for tonight's game. Zane Potter, a 2005 graduate joined ex-teammate and current New York Knick Nate Robinson in the stands. Also present was Martell Webster, in his second year with the Portland Trail Blazers. Martell signed at Washington, but chose the to enter the NBA draft out of high school.
- Arizona sophomore Marcus Williams played in his hometown for the second time in his career. After scoring 22 points and dishing four assists the Roosevelt High School graduate is 2-0 in Bank of America Arena against the Huskies.