Pondexter Carries No. 14 Huskies Over Spartans

Nov. 21, 2009

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SEATTLE (AP) -Quincy Pondexter set a career high for the second consecutive game with 30 points, including 13 in a row to begin the second half, and had a career-best 15 rebounds in No. 14 Washington's 80-70 victory over San Jose State on Friday night.

The season's first Pac-10 player of the week followed his career high of 29 points on Sunday against Portland State by making 10 of 18 field goals and 10 of 13 foul shots.

Isaiah Thomas added 16 points and the Huskies (4-0), backing up their highest preseason ranking since 1985, pulled away from the Spartans (1-1) after a ragged start.

Former Washington transfer Adrian Oliver scored 32 points to lead San Jose State, which beat NAIA school William Jessup in its opener.

The Spartans lost for the 10th consecutive time against a Pac-10 team since beating Stanford 17 years ago.

Oliver, who played in 37 games with 13 starts over 1 1/2 seasons at Washington and was Pondexter's roommate, kept San Jose State in the game by scoring 19 points in the first 25 minutes.

Pondexter contemplated leaving Washington as a sophomore during Christmas break, soon after Oliver transferred.

Washington's sure glad he stayed.

The only senior on the defending Pac-10 champions took advantage of the back line of San Jose State's zone defense fearing fourth fouls to score Washington's first 13 points of the second half. On five consecutive plays, Pondexter soared past flat-footed defenders for baskets. The third was a thunderous, right-handed dunk from the baseline over meekly defending C.J. Webster. Webster got a face full of Pondexter yelling and then an ear full from Spartans coach George Nessman for not defending more aggressively.

Washington got its largest lead, 45-37.

Two 3-pointers by Elston Turner, two free throws by the cold-shooting Thomas (4 for 13 from the field), and another soaring dunk from Pondexter off an alley-oop feed from freshman Abdul Gaddy put the Huskies up 66-50 with 8 minutes left.

Upset averted.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar spent the first half alternating between enraged and bewildered. When Pondexter was called for a charge underneath to wipe out an apparent 3-point play, it looked as if an earthquake erupted beneath Romar. He stomped his feet repeatedly and about came out of his blue suit next to an official, who promptly gave him a technical foul that kept the Spartans up early.

Then, when Venoy Overton double-dribbled after a steal to ruin a breakaway layup, Romar held his head with both hands.

Fortunately for Washington, 15 of the 25 fouls in the plodding first half were against San Jose State, which hasn't beaten a ranked team since 1996. The Spartans, picked by coaches to finish eighth in the WAC, had four players with three fouls each in the half.

Pondexter was perfect on all six of his free throws in the period, part of 12-for-17 shooting at the line for the Huskies. They led 37-31 at the break despite shooting just 35 percent from the field.

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