Huskies defeat California 109-77


by Associated Press

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 11 at 12:38 AM




SEATTLE -- Isaiah Thomas made a career-high six 3-pointers en route to 23 points, Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 18, and Washington emphatically snapped its three-game losing streak with a 109-77 rout of California on Thursday night.

Six Huskies finished in double figures as Washington led by 24 at halftime and rebounded after thudding its way out of first place in the Pac-10 and the AP Top 25 last week with losses at Oregon State and Oregon.

Washington (16-7, 8-4 Pac-10) pulled within 1 1/2 games of idle Arizona for the conference lead.

Thomas' performance built off what was considered the best game of his career earlier this season at California, when he finished with 27 points and 13 assists. Thomas made 7 of 11 shots on Thursday, added nine assists and grabbed four rebounds.

Jorge Gutierrez led California (13-11, 7-5) with 24 points. The Golden Bears played the final 29 minutes without freshman Allen Crabbe after a knee-to-head collision with Washington's Aziz N'Diaye.

Even healthy, Crabbe wouldn't have helped much on this night.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar stressed earlier in the week that the defensive end is where the Huskies needed to focus. Too many easy baskets were being allowed, and not enough pressure was hampering the Huskies' ability to get easy baskets of their own in transition.

For at least one night, those problems were solved.

Playing their pressure man defense for all but 2 1/2 minutes late in the first half, Washington forced the Bears into 16 turnovers and just 2 of 7 shooting on 3-pointers. Washington also came up with a season-high 11 blocked shots -- four by Bryan-Amaning and three by N'Diaye.

But with an offensive performance like what Washington produced, the defense could have been awful, and the Huskies still would have come away with a victory.

The Huskies topped 100 points for the sixth time this season, a school record. The 201 combined points by Washington in the two wins over California this year set a Pac-10 record.

Washington matched a school record with 17 3-pointers, including four from C.J. Wilcox and three by Scott Suggs. Wilcox finished with 14 points, Suggs and Terrence Ross had 11, and Justin Holiday added 12 points.

Washington solved its offensive issues by pounding inside early with Bryan-Amaning and N'Diaye before going to the perimeter, where the Huskies hit 10 3-pointers in the first half. But the inside scoring is what made the perimeter shots come so easily.

Of Washington's first 30 points -- which were scored in less than nine minutes of game time -- 18 were scored in the paint. Bryan-Amaning scored all 10 of his first-half points in the first eight minutes.

With California's zone defense unable to control the inside, the Huskies capitalized by knocking down open shots from the outside. Thomas hit a trio of 3s in the first half, and Washington shot 59.5 percent in the first 20 minutes. Most impressive, Washington's 22 field goals came off 18 assists. The Huskies had just 12 assists total in each of their losses to Washington State and Oregon State.

Cal was coming off its 107-105 triple-overtime loss to Arizona last Saturday and was more hampered by the loss of Crabbe, its star freshman.

Crabbe, averaging 12 points and in line for freshman of the year consideration in the conference, was injured with 9:32 left in the first half. Crabbe was called for an offensive foul on a drive to the basket and while falling to the floor, he caught the knee of N'Diaye, who came over to help on defense.