Huskies Storm Past Southern Utah 87-72
Dec. 4, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) -Deposed starter Ryan Appleby scored a career-high 24 points and heralded freshman Spencer Hawes added a season-high 21 to lead No. 13 Washington past Southern Utah, 87-72 on Monday night.
Appleby, replaced last week as a starter by freshman Adrian Oliver, scored 21 points in the first half on 8-for-9 shooting - including 5-for-6 from 3-point range.
Five players scored in double figures for the Huskies (7-0), who won their 24th consecutive nonconference game. Washington behind early for the third consecutive game, after even slower starts against Sacramento State and Idaho.
The young Huskies, with nine freshmen and sophomores on their 12-man roster, now get their first true test Saturday in their first road game of the season at No. 18 Gonzaga. The Zags hold the nation's longest home winning streak at 44.
Justin Allen scored 20 points to lead Southern Utah (6-3). The Thunderbirds led the nation in 3-point shooting last season at 43 percent. But they were just 1-for-5 from long range during the decisive first half.
Appleby could have helped that.
The junior sharpshooter continually beat the Thunderbirds into the front court to create open shots for himself and teammates. By halftime, last year's transfer from Florida already had his career highs in points and shots made.
His final 3-point shot was a fallaway from deep with 32 seconds left in the half that swished to give Washington its largest lead to that point, 49-35. Appleby then smoothly backpedaled across halfcourt with both hands cupped and pointed back.
Hawes, who sat out much of the first half with two fouls, got hot when Appleby finally cooled after halftime. Hawes scored three of Washington's first four basket after of the second half to push the Huskies' lead to 15. Appleby kept Southern Utah down with yet another rainbow, this one from about 6 feet behind the 3-point lane. His first points of the second half put the Huskies up 68-52 with 11 minutes left.
The Thunderbirds briefly cut the lead to 75-66 with 6:50 left on a 3-pointer by Allen. But Hawes answered with a left-handed scoop shot in the lane and then a free throw to repel Southern Utah's last charge.
Southern Utah led early, 10-6, behind six points from the quick, hard-driving Allen - while Washington was attempting just two shots and had seven turnovers in the first 5 minutes.
But then Appleby took over.
Washington's only loss came with 1:13 left when Justin Dentmon landed awkwardly on his left leg. A trainer and teammate helped the sophomore point guard to the bench, while a wincing Dentmon kept his leg locked ominously at the knee.