The emphasis was more on rebounding this week, not trying to keep up with an early-season frantic scoring pace. And so far, the Huskies have accomplished the deed.
Pairing up 7-footer Aziz N'Diaye with 6-9 Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the UW starting lineup for the first time, half of the team's 22 first-half rebounds were on the offense glass.
In fact, on the Huskies' first possession, Bryan-Amaning hauled in an offensive rebound that set up a N'Diaye bucket. The senior from London, England has three offensive rebounds in the team's first five trips.
The scoring finally arrived midway through the half for the Huskies, who got baskets on nine possessions in a row. The highlight came on a three-on-one fastbreak when guard Isaiah Thomas, out of Curtis High, did a double-clutch, behind-the-back feed to Tacoma mate Abdul Gaddy for an easy layin, and the UW led 28-15 with 6:23 to go.
It appears UW coach Lorenzo Romar is trying to stretch out N'Diaye for extended periods, even with creaky knees. The big man from Dakar, Senegal played the first 6:43 (as did Bryan-Amaning), returned roughly three minutes later and went another 4:16 before getting more rest.
He did return at the 2:47 mark, and played another two minutes for a grand total of 13 minutes - his longest stretch for a half this season - totaling nine points, three rebounds and two blocks.
Also, the foul-plagued Huskies did not commit their first infraction until the 6:09 mark on a reach-in by Thomas.