Washington capped a convincing sweep of its four-game homestand tonight with a 79-56 win over Arizona State at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
And if any game ever demonstrated the difference between these Huskies at home and on the road, it was this one. Less than one month earlier, UW had lost 68-51 at Arizona State. On Saturday, the Huskies not only managed a 40-point turnaround, but they went sailing past that 51-point mark with more than 16 minutes left to play.
Other results across the Pacific-10 Conference kept Washington (16-7 overall, 5-5 Pac-10) one game out of first place. However, there is now only one team ahead: California, which shows up next on the UW schedule.
The three other schools that woke up Saturday tied for the Pac-10 lead all went down: UCLA to California, Arizona to Washington State and Arizona State to UW.
The Huskies took care of their own business behind a swarming defense that generated its offense. And with Washington scoring in transition, Arizona State’s pesky match-up zone regularly became a non-factor.
Washington jumped the Sun Devils (16-8, 6-5) right out of the gate, taking a 10-point lead in less than nine minutes. ASU coach Herb Sendek called three early time outs to try to slow the UW surge, but the Huskies kept pulling away. The first-half lead peaked at 24 points, and Washington kept the Sun Devils at a comfortable arm’s length the rest of the way.
Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas led Washington with 17 points each. Justin Holiday had a game-high 10 rebounds and helped keep ASU’s league-leading 3-point shooters in check. The Washington defense forced ASU into 19 turnovers.
Freshman Demetrius Walker led Arizona State with 14 points.
Next, the Huskies again head out on the road – where they are 0-5 -- with a two-game trip to the Bay Area, starting Thursday at Cal.16:21/2nd
Halftime: UW up, 42-25. However, Arizona State seemed to stabilize a bit behind a quick eight points -- two treys and a nice drive -- by ASU freshman Demetrius Walker.
Pondexter has 11 points, and Thomas 10. Walker leads ASU.
UW shooting .415, ASU, .375. UW has forced 10 turnovers and committed six.
Huskies dominating the boards, 28-13.
7:38/1st UW up, 25-6. Arizona State has hit two of 13 shots. Sendek has called three time outs apparently to steady his team as the UW defense keeps generating offense.
11:36/1st Washington's defense is firing its offense as the Huskies have jumped to a 14-6 lead. Two quick fouls on ASU's Richrds Kuksiks, but Herb Sendek is leaving him in for now.
Lineups: As promised, Isaiah Thomas is in the starting lineup tonight along with regulars Abdul Gaddy, Quincy Pondexter, Justin Holiday and Tyreese Breshers.
New warmups: The Huskies have been showing off a lot of new stuff lately. First, there was that new image (not logo) of the snaring Husky eyes. Then the black uniforms. And tonight at Hec Ed, the Huskies are warming up in white-and-purple warmups, apparently replacing the purples they have worn until now.
Meanwhile it looks like the Huskies are wearing their gold uniforms today, while ASU is in deep crimson.
Finally: Normal gameday blogging planned here: Pregame news, lineups, in-game updates and postgame notes, quotes and comments.