Huskies beat Division II Central Washington, 77-48, before an announced crowd of 8,570.
Veterans led the way: 18 points from Thomas, 15 from Pondexter, 11 from Overton.
“I was pleasantly surprised at the energy that we came out with tonight, given the fact that it had been nine consecutive days that we practiced,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “… For us to come out with the intensity that we did in spite of that, I was pleased.”
The team shot badly from the field (38 percent) and from the foul line (48.6 percent). But Romar thought some of that might be due to tired legs. Romar's main criticism was too many fouls: 26.
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Among the newcomers, Abdul Gaddy came off the bench for a game-high six assists.
“It was fun for me,” he said. “I was a little nervous at the beginning; that comes with it all. But it was fun out there, especially to come out with the win.”
Clarence Trent threw down a late thunderous dunk on a lob from fellow-freshman C.J. Wilcox. Redshirt freshman Tyreese Breshers had six points and three rebounds after sitting out last season with leg injuries.
“We all see what they bring to the table,” Pondexter said. “Abdul is a tremendous passer, well beyond his years of age. Clarence is a freak athlete, and he’ll only get better and better. C.J. is finding his way. It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be knocking down those threes – he’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen. … (Breshers) is just a load. He’s very similar to Jon Brockman. I think he’s going to have a bright future.”
Guard Noble’D Shelton of Auburn led the Wildcats with 10 points.
The Huskies return to practice leading to their regular season opener Nov. 13 against Wright State in the first game of the Athletes in Action Classic at Hec Ed.
4:24/2nd We've been hearing about Clarence Trent's athleticism, and he just threw down a dunk for the ages, on a running lob from C.J. Wilcox. Huskies up, 75-42.
15:29/2nd UW, 59-25. Romar getting his first look at guards Thomas, Overton and Gaddy sharing the floot. The 6-3 Gaddy is defending the CWU forward.
Second half: Original starters return for Huskies.
Halftime: Huskies up, 43-18. Isaiah Thomas leads all scorers with 14 points ... and he's tied with Pondexter for the lead with five rebounds. Huskies hitting only 31.7 percent of their shots from the field, which would be trouble except that the Wildcats are hitting only 14.8 percent. Naturally, that all means a lot of missed shots, and UW is leading rebounding, 36-25.
11:19: UW 16, CWU 5. Romar is making subs quicker than I can get any sense of the combinations. But the most interesting substitution was Scott Suggs, who was the second guy off the bench. Hadn't heard of any great second-season surge by Suggs, so it will be interesting to see what's up there.
15:15: Huskies are off to a sloppy start, but still up 10-3 due to unmistakable difference in the levels of the two teams. First sub was Breshers, then Gaddy for Thomas, who was 0-for-3 on free throw attempts and missed a layup.
Lineup: As expected: Thomas, Overton, Pondexter, MBA and Gant.
At Hec Ed: Huskies' tip off their season -- kinda -- at 7 tonight with an exhibition game against Central Washington. There's no radio or TV. Here's my preview from this morning's paper.
It's more than an hour before tip as I type, and a few Wildcats are shooting around, while Quincy Pondexter and Elston Turner are the early arriving Huskies.
UW is giving its home fans a rare chance to see the Huskies in their purple "road" unis. The Wildcats are their Ellensburg whites.
I'll pop back in with any pregame news, then give in-game updates, followed by postgame notes and quotes. Your comments are always welcome, now and throughout the season.