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January 27, 2010

Dawgs beat Redhawks, spoil Dollar's homecoming

The Huskies (13-7, 3-5) defeated the Seattle Redhawks (9-12), 123-76, on Tuesday night at Hec Ed to snap a two-game losing streak.

The least you should know:

The Huskies thoroughly dominated throughout. They held 18-0, 30-5, and 61-20 leads before holding steady in a choppy second half slowed by 46 fouls.

Quincy Pondexter had 22 points and seven rebounds in the first half, outscoring Seattle U. all by himself before the break. He finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

The Huskies might've missed him on another night, but Isaiah Thomas missing the game due to a flu-like illness only meant more fun for the other Huskies, six of whom scored in double figures.

The narrative:

All of the pieces were in place for Tuesday night's contest against Seattle University to be a "trap" game for the Huskies:

* The Dawgs were playing on tired legs in their third game in six nights.

* There was little for the Huskies to gain in a non-conference matchup with a lightly regarded opponent.

* The return of Cameron Dollar to Hec Ed was sure to leave the players and coaches with a host of mixed emotions, taking some focus away from the contest on the court.

It was clear, though, after an 18-0 run to start the game, that Husky coach Lorenzo Romar would likely have little reason to sweat in his festive purple jacket on Tuesday evening.

"Good game, before we get back into Pac-10 play to regain a little confidence," Romar said.

Behind 22 first-half points from Quincy Pondexter and a defensive effort that held the Redhawks to five field goals and forced 15 turnovers, the Huskies led 61-20 at halftime.

"We made a lot of progress tonight. We still have to get some things right. We still want to contend for a Pac-10 championship," Pondexter said. "We know the league is capable of coming back to us with some teams losing."

The first half also featured an ugly frustration foul by Seattle University star Charles Garcia on Pondexter. Garcia pushed Pondexter from behind on a fast break, sending the Husky star lurching forward. Pondexter came away unharmed, and finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but officials reviewed the play seemingly to review whether it warranted an ejection.

If the Huskies were destined to win by forty or more, the Redhawks seemed determined to extend the game by playing aggressive (if not effective) defense, fouling 28 times in the second half.

Behind strong play from Elston Turner and Venoy Overton, who each finished with career-highs of 20 points, the Huskies led 93-47 midway through the second half.

The game's final two minutes provided several "firsts" to reward the die-hard crowd that stuck around: Brendan Sherrer scored his first points as a Husky on a baseline jumpshot; multiple dunk-contest winner Clarence Trent had his first truly dazzling slam as a Husky; and Seattle U. had to play the last 1:20 with only four players after everyone else on the roster fouled out of the game.

Garcia, who for academic reasons did not gain admission to the school after committing to UW, finished with 20 in the losing effort.

The Huskies put an end tonight to a two-game losing streak and set their sights now on Washington State, which comes into Hec Ed Saturday afternoon.

"This game will help us get the bitter taste out of our mouth," Romar said. "But until we get back into Pac-10 play and get back on our feet, it won't remove that totally. And until we win on the road, it won't completely make us forget about that."

Analysis and Observations:

Not a lot that can be learned by watching a game like this, but the Huskies certainly got to practice their free throws (going 46-61), and work on picking apart the zone a little bit. For that reason alone, too bad Isaiah missed the contest.

The beginning of the second half was interminable with play stopping every few seconds with foul calls. There were 18 combined fouls in the first five minutes of the second half.

Quincy Pondexter played big in a game that surely attracted a few scouts who were also there to see Charles Garcia. Hypothesis in the press box was that Quincy would've been pulled much earlier (for fear of injury) if this weren't a game that could have a positive effect on his draft stock.

Would've loved to see a Husky "big" among the Dawgs in double figures tonight. Just saying. Crazy, even in a game like this, how little the Huskies can get going with traditional passes into the post.

When Elston Turner is going, he's great. Bummer that he's so inconsistent, because he gives the team a great look when he's a legit scoring option.

Player of the game: Pondexter, of course. But Turner had his best game that I've seen on both sides of the ball.

Career-highs tonight for Justin Holiday (16 points), Overton (20), Turner and Brendan Sherrer (2).


Josh Anderson is the publisher of Montlake Madness, a 100 percent free fan site dedicated to University of Washington basketball. UDUBsports.com will be teaming up with Josh for the basketball season to provide even more comprehensive coverage of all the action!


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