Men’s basketball: Washington Huskies trounce Nevada Wolf Pack
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE – Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 24 points, and Washington looked sharp in its last warmup before beginning Pac-10 play with a 90-60 blowout of Nevada on Wednesday night.
Thomas did a little of everything, as the Huskies finished out almost all of their non-conference slate at 8-3, the only losses coming to Kentucky, Michigan State and Texas A&M by a combined 13 points. Washington has one non-conference game remaining on Feb. 22 against city rival Seattle.
Once again Thomas, the Huskies leading scorer at 15 per game, got plenty of help. Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 16 points and could have scored a lot more if not for a number of close misses.
Washington led by as many as 37 in the second half.
Dario Hunt led Nevada (3-9) with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Nevada served as the Huskies’ final test before beginning Pac-10 play next Wednesday night at Southern California. The Los Angeles trip will be a significant test for the Huskies, who played just one true road game during the non-conference slate, a 63-62 loss at Texas A&M.
But while Washington coach Lorenzo Romar might have wanted a challenge from the Wolf Pack, they ended up being barely a speed bump.
But Romar did get a scare with 5:04 left when forward Justin Holiday fell to the floor after injuring his right ankle. Holiday limped off and went briefly went to the bench before hobbling back to the Washington locker room with the Huskies leading 83-49. Holiday finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Seven-footer Aziz N’Diaye added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
By halftime, Thomas already had his stat sheet filled. The junior moved into 21st place on Washington’s all-time scoring list with his 12 points in the first half, including eight in the final 6:30 of the half. The Huskies closed the half on a 14-4 run, capped by Thomas’ pass to a wide open C.J. Wilcox for 3 just before the halftime buzzer. It was one of Thomas’ three assists to go along with his six rebounds in the first half.
Thomas wasn’t done in the second half adding another pair of 3-pointers and throwing a beautiful backdoor lob to freshman Terrance Ross for a two-handed dunk. Thomas finished 9 of 19 shooting with eight rebounds and four assists. His previous season high was 20 points against Portland.
Bryan-Amaning posted his third double-double of the season adding 11 rebounds.
Washington played without pesky, defensive-minded guard Venoy Overton, who rested after hyperextending his knee in practice this week. The Huskies didn’t need his harassing style on the perimeter, as Nevada shot just 28 percent
Nevada lost for the ninth time in its last 11 games, continuing a difficult early schedule with a young team. The Wolf Pack struggled to get any offense started against the Huskies pressure, often breaking down into one-on-one matchups. Nevada finished with just five assists and only stayed close in the first half thanks to 12 free throws.
Nevada also made just 2 of 12 3-pointers. Deonte Burton added 14 points and Malik Story had 11 for the Wolf Pack.