The final score was somewhat overshadowed by the extracurricular activities of a couple of Oregon State players. “Me and Venoy (Overton) were just sitting there playing a shooting game and all of the sudden they (OSU players) walked in a started yelling,” Ryan Appleby explained after the game. “I thought they were joking around and I was just laughing. Than I was thinking, oh wow, the are actually serious, but I thought that we’d just take care of it on the floor tomorrow and not worry about it tonight.”
That wasn’t the end of it though.
Apparently, a couple of Oregon State players showed up at Washington’s hotel Friday night and issued some sort of threat or challenge via a text message to a member of the Huskies who reported the incident to the coaching staff. The Oregon State administration was called moments later and the incident ended without a confrontation.
“Sometimes, young kids do things that later, they aren’t proud of,” said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. “Hopefully, it’s just a mistake that you move on and learn from.”
It clearly made for some strong motivation.
“When someone comes into your practice and tells you what they’re going to do to you, you’d better be ready to play,” expressed Romar. “At that point you can either not show up for the game, or show up and meet the challenge. I thought we did a good job of maintaining our composure.”
“Maybe it was more of a thing where they were trying to intimidate us and get a win because they hadn’t won one yet," Appleby added.
The senior from Stanwood, Wash. was a one-man fireworks show with a career high 32 points, delivering blow after blow from downtown. Whether by virtue of great shot selection or defensive neglect, Appleby almost single-handedly matched the Beavers scoring early on, scoring 23 points to the Beavers' 31 early in the second half. The sharpshooer’s 9 for 15 performance from 3-point range bested the previous Husky record of seven in a game, held by Deon Luton and Senque Carey.
“I was feeling it tonight,” Appleby said, smiling. “My teammates did a good job early of getting me off some screens. I got some open looks early and it helped me get rolling.”
“It was good to see Ryan get loose and knock some down,” added Romar.
Washington started fast, and never let up. After starting off the game with a one point advantage due to the Beaver coaching staff’s tardy lineup card submission, Washington raced out to a 29-12 advantage and never looked back. Appleby scored nine of the Huskies first 11 points on his way to an 18-point half, tying his career-best which came against Oregon last season.
Appleby wasn’t the only beneficiary of the Beavers' uninspired defensive play. Justin Dentmon, Quincy Pondexter, Mathew Bryan-Amaning and Jon Brockman all found their way into double-digit performances. Brockman and Bryan-Amaning both posted double-doubles with 10 rebounds apiece.
Dentmon, in particular, had his way with the Beavers, continuing his string of strong play. He finished with 17 points, his third-straight game of 15 or more points.
The Beavers never seemed overly interested in the game to begin with, as evidenced by the 48-24 score at halftime, but a 10-point Husky run to open the second half turned the game into a rout as Washington continued to push their advantage. They finally got a breather when Appleby went to the bench five minutes into the second half, managing to bring the deficit back under thirty, but the respite didn’t last long.
Appleby returned four minutes later to finish what he started.
“I think our guys did a really good job of staying focused tonight and playing strong with the basketball, staying poised and not trying to play too fast," Romar said. "Once the score got away from them, I think they kind of got down on themselves,” added Appleby. “They didn’t gat back in transition and do the little things that it takes to win a game.”
With the victory, Washington now takes their 5-8 Pac-10 record back home to face the Arizona schools for the last homestand of the season, hoping to keep their slim NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Points: Appleby 32, Dentmon 17, Brockman 15, Bryan-Amaning 12, Pondexter 12, Wolfinger 3, Overton 2, Morris 2, Wallace 2
Minutes: Appleby 26, Bryan-Amaning 23, Pondexter 22, Brockman 22, Dentmon 21, Morris 20, Smith 19, Overton 19, Wallace 18, Wolfinger 10
Rebounds: Bryan-Amaning 10, Brockman 10, Morris 7, Pondexter 4, TEAM 4, Smith 3, Wallace 3, Dentmon 2, Wolfinger 2, Overton 1, Appleby 1
Assists: Overton 6, Dentmon 6, Morris 3, Pondexter 3, Smith 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Appleby 1
Steals: Overton 3, Smith 2, Dentmon 1
Blocks: Bryan-Amaning 2, Brockman 2