Huskies Pummel Sun Devils; Will Play for First Place on Thursday


The Washington Huskies (6-5, 16-7 overall) defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5, 16-8 overall), 79-56, on Saturday night at Hec Ed.

The basics:

The Huskies again were downright dominating at home. This one was over early, as the Huskies built a 27-7 advantage, and led 42-25 at halftime.

The Huskies managed to dismantle Arizona’s seventh-in-the-nation defense without even shooting the lights out (43.1% FG, 4-15 3-pt. FG) on a night when it felt like every roll went the Dawgs way.

Isaiah Thomas had a bounce-back game, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and only one turnover.

The Huskies moved into a five-way tie for second place in the conference, and will get a shot Thursday night against Cal to earn a share of the conference lead.

Here’s some more thoughts on this game and beyond:

Quincy Pondexter had an absolutely sick move, where he drove on a break, and got hammered by two Sun Devil. As he skidded to the floor, he flicked the ball to the high part of the glass, and it banked it. With respect to Clarence Trent’s dunk last week, Q-Pon now owns the move of the year.

Quincy put up 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. And, other than “the move,” he did it so quietly that for the next 48 hours most people who watched the game won’t even think about how good he was. Then on Monday, he’ll win Pac-10 Player of the Week. . . again.

It really is amazing how much better the team looks when Thomas embraces his underrated passing skills. The team is 8-1 in games in which I.T. has three or more assists.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning had a productive game (12 points, nine boards, two blocks). It looked early like he was taking a little more time in the post, really working to get a good look, and they weren’t falling. Then, he started getting some rolls in the second half.

MBA’s nine boards tied his career-high in a Pac-10 game.

Other than a Husky win, I got what I wanted most out of the game: Venoy Overton shut down Derek Glasser tonight, clearly sending the message: “I’m your daddy.” And, in case there was any doubt, the Dawg Pack helped clear things up.

Looking for a turning point in the Huskies’ season? Since moving Justin Holiday into the starting lineup, the team is 6-2, winning by an average of 25 points. And, one of the two losses was by a single point.

Speaking of Holiday (seven points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block), he’s a pretty terrific rebounder. And, it’s all through hustle. Imagine what he could do if he weighed more than 105 pounds.

I know, I know. He was out of action for so long. He’s not at full strength. Blah. Blah. Blah. It’s not like Tyreese Breshers hasn’t played organized ball before. How is it that he can’t play defense without fouling? He’s 10th on the team in minutes played, but running a close second in personal fouls (67) to Venoy Overton (72). Unacceptable. And, what’s even more unacceptable? Not looking nearly pissed off enough at himself for doing it.

Scott Suggs has gone from being the one guy I didn’t ever want on the court to one of my favorite Huskies to watch. I’m truly proud of how he’s stepped up. Ever notice, even when he misses, his shot always looks like it’s going in? Can’t say that about Elston Turner.

And now, after all this drama, the Huskies are one big win away from being back on top of the conference. I want so badly not to believe in these guys, because every time they go on the road, they rip my heart out. But, I believe. I do believe.

Thanks for coming!