March 4, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)--The NCAA tournament field is more than a week away from being selected, but it was at the front of Quincy Pondexter's mind Thursday night.
Washington's senior forward scored a career-high 34 points to go with 10 rebounds and the Huskies kept themselves firmly on the NCAA bubble with an 86-72 win over Oregon.
Pondexter dazzled with an array of dunks and drives, going 14 for 18 from the field, and Isaiah Thomas added 14 points for the Huskies (20-9, 10-7 Pac-10).
"I didn't come out intending to score a lot of points," said Pondexter, whose previous high was 31 points. "I came out and tried to do a lot of the little things so this team gets this win so you can get called on Selection Sunday."
Pondexter's point total was the most by an opposing player against Oregon this season.
"Quincy Pondexter was sensational tonight. He came to play," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "He did what talented seniors do, 'I don't care what happens, I'm bringing it tonight.' That seems like how he played."
Washington trailed early in the second half before pulling away with an 11-0 run that made it 54-44 with 16:18 to play. Justin Holiday scored eight points during that stretch on two 3-pointers and a jumper. He finished with 10 points.
The Ducks (14-15, 6-11) followed with baskets by Tajuan Porter and Michael Dunigan to make it 54-48, but Thomas answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and Oregon never got closer than seven points.
"We stuck together as a team," Pondexter said. "We knew that if we stuck together they would break down."
It was the third straight win on the road for the Huskies, who started the season 0-7 away from home.
"We wanted to come out and prove to this team and to the conference and to the country that we should be called on Selection Sunday," Pondexter said.
Porter finished with 18 points and Dunigan added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who shot 50 percent from the field in the first half but 27.5 percent in the second.
"We just did not shoot the ball well in the second half," said Oregon coach Ernie Kent before tipping his cap to Pondexter. "He had a monster game. He put on a show for everyone here."
Pondexter scored 20 in the first half on 8-of-9 shooting. He had 13 points in the opening 7:10 -- including three dunks and a 3-pointer -- as the Huskies jumped out to a 17-10 lead.
But Dunigan came off the bench to spark the Ducks. He scored seven in a 12-4 Oregon run, including the go-ahead free throw to make it 20-19 with 10:43 to play after Porter had tied the game with his second 3-pointer of the half.
Darnell Gant put Washington back on top with a jumper to make it 21-20, but Porter banked in a jumper for the Ducks and Oregon never trailed again in the half, taking a 40-39 advantage into the break.