Huskies Hold Off Cal State Northridge, 88-76

Dec. 6, 2009

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SEATTLE (AP)--Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points--13 from the foul line--Quincy Pondexter added 20 and No. 12 Washington responded to its first loss of the season with a foul-filled 88-76 victory over Cal State Northridge on Sunday night.

The Huskies (6-1) sputtered at times three nights after a frenetic overtime defeat at Texas Tech in their only road game so far.

Cal State Northridge (4-4) was up by five early and led 48-47 with 5 minutes gone in the second half before Washington went on a 17-2 run to take control.

Junior-college transfer Lenny Daniel scored a career-high 24 points for the Matadors. Leading scorer Kenny Daniels was in foul trouble and had just seven points after scoring 39 in a win over Idaho Thursday.

There were 31 fouls called in the first 22 minutes as the Huskies methodically built a 12-point lead from some of their 31 free throws--in 40 attempts.

The Matadors went on an 11-0 run immediately after a double-technical assessed to Mark Hill and Pondexter for a stare down. Daniel soared for a two-handed dunk off a deft pass from Vinnie McGhee before McGhee zoomed past Venoy Overton and for a left-handed scoop high off the glass.

The stunned Huskies stared blankly at each other as they called time out, up by only 48-47. And Northridge's first upset of a ranked team since March 2004 was a possibility.

Northridge's rally came without Daniels. The senior had just three points in the first 21 minutes against constant double-teams by the Huskies, and he got his third foul early in the second half. Daniels finished 13 points below his season average.

The Huskies' game-breaking run started with Pondexter's first 3-point basket of the season. Then Washington's only senior stole the ball at halfcourt and fed Matthew Bryan-Amaning for an emphatic, right-handed dunk that ignited the worried crowd. When Scott Suggs swished a 3-pointer, Washington was back up 56-47 with 12 minutes left.

The run ended with a parade of free throws by Thomas, who made 13 of 15 from the line. The Matadors had three players with four fouls each and had 27 fouls called on them in less than 33 minutes.

Washington led 74-59, and the fans who had been worried about a possible upset were streaming out of the arena with 5 minutes left.

Heralded freshman Abdul Gaddy, scoreless over the previous two games, was far more aggressive offensively. He continually bolted for the hoop off the dribble while scoring a season-high 11 points. He even charged into teammate Thomas, a head-on collision that left Gaddy with a cut and bandage over his right eye.

Elston Turner, who missed two free throws with 5 seconds left that could have won Thursday's game in regulation at Texas Tech, got a rousing, half-mocking cheer from the student section after making two free throws in the final minute of the half.

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