Oregon State Falls to Washington in Season Opener, 76-70

Dec. 31, 2009

Final Stats

SEATTLE (AP)--Quincy Pondexter scored 20 points, Isaiah Thomas added 19 and No. 17 Washington opened its defense of its Pac-10 Conference title by holding on in the final minutes for a 76-70 win over Oregon State on Thursday night.

Scrappy reserve guard Venoy Overton scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half as Washington used a big surge over the final 12 minutes before the break to build a lead that withstood all of Oregon State's charges in the second half.

Washington (10-2, 1-0 Pac-10) is the only Pac-10 team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 and began the conference season with a lethargic first 7 minutes. But Overton provided the spark and Washington closed the first half on a 33-14 run that gave the Huskies a 10-point halftime lead.

They needed all of that lead as Oregon State trimmed an 11-point deficit with 4:28 left down to three in the final minute, but couldn't capitalize on opportunities to draw closer.

Roeland Schaftenaar led Oregon State with 16 points as the Beavers saw their brief two-game win streak snapped following an up-and-down non-conference performance. Considered a potential preseason surprise in the Pac-10, Oregon State struggled with losses to the likes of Sacramento State and Illinois-Chicago.

Calvin Haynes added 15 points and Omari Johnson scored 10 off the bench for Oregon State (6-5, 0-1).

Washington appeared firmly in control with 4:28 left after Overton's driving layup gave the Huskies a 69-58 lead. Oregon State then started chipping away, in a hurry.

The Beavers used a rare four-point play--Johnson's 3 while Schaftenaar was fouled under the basket--and two more free throws from Schaftenaar to pull to 69-64 with 3:22 left. Oregon State forced a Thomas miss in the lane, but Haynes missed a breakaway layup and Washington's Elston Turner was fouled. He made both to push the advantage back to seven.

Haynes made up for his mistake with a 3, getting the Beavers as close as they had been since it was 33-29 late in the first half. After Thomas' pass was stolen by Johnson, Haynes was fouled on a drive and made 1 of 2 free throws getting OSU within 71-68.

The Beavers forced another turnover as Overton tried dribbling through a triple team, but Haynes stumbled out beyond the 3-point line under pressure by Overton and was called for traveling with 1:08 left.

Washington worked the shot clock down, but Pondexter lost his dribble and Oregon State raced into the front court. Seth Tarver missed a contested look from the low block and Pondexter was fouled on the rebound. Pondexter made four straight free throws in the closing seconds and Darnell Gant added one more for the final margin.

After a sluggish and sloppy start, Washington got its spark from Overton. The 5-foot-11 defensive irritator and instigator started Washington's rally from down 19-10 with a floater in the lane after three consecutive Washington turnovers.

The Huskies went on to outscore the Beavers 33-14 over the final 13 minutes of the half, including a stretch of 5:22 where Oregon State went scoreless. Joe Burton finally broke the scoreless string with 6:23 left in the half. But Washington wasn't done, with 16 of the final 22 points after Oregon State pulled even at 27-all, capped by Pondexter's follow just before the halftime buzzer.

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