Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bryan-Amaning scores career high in #20 Huskies 88-75 win over Sun Devils

By Kshell

The #20 Washington Huskies(15-4,7-1) were able to avoid the upset at home to the Arizona State Sun Devils(9-10,1-6) by winning 88-75. The Huskies were able to overcome the hot shooting of the Sun Devils due to Matthew Bryan-Amaning scoring a career high 30 points. Bryan-Amaning scored a career high 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds along with Isaiah Thomas who scored 19 points and dished out eight assists helped keep the Huskies in first place. The Huskies may have looked past this opponent after defeating Arizona Wildcats in a big game on Thursday but the Huskies are lucky to have survived this game with a win.

In the first half the Huskies couldn't stop the Sun Devils from scoring as the Sun Devils scored 39 first half points. Thankfully for Husky fans Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 16 points in the first half to give the Huskies a 40-39 lead at halftime. Bryan-Amaning scored the Huskies 10 of their first 13 points in the first half. He finished the half shooting six of nine from the field including a perfect four for four from the free line. Isaiah Thomas helped Bryan-Amaning out in the first half scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists. Thomas shot just two for five including a thre pointer but was four for five from three point range. Freshman Terrence Ross scored six points both on three point shots. The Huskies shot 14-28(50.0%) from the field but just 3-10(30.0%) from three point range. The Huskies were 9-11(81.8%) from the foul line.

The Huskies were only up one point and found themselves trailing 33-25 because the Sun Devils were red hot. The Sun Devils were led by Ty Abbott who had 13 points on four for six shooting including hitting all three three point attempts. Trent Lockett scored nine points on four for five shooting. The Sun Devils shot an outstanding 15-29(51.7%) from the field including five of eight from three point range. The Sun Devils were matching the Huskies point for point in the first half and unlike previous teams this year they kept that pace in the second half.

In the second half the Huskies were in a battle. Typically the Huskies will blow out opponents in the second half but today wasn't the case. Bryan-Amaning and Thomas continued to carry the team in the second but it was a couple of role players who provided big shots for the Huskies in the second half. With the scored tied at 63 with under six minutes left in the game C.J. Wilcox who has been in a month long slump drilled a three pointer to give the Huskies the lead. Venoy Overton would score a layup to give the Huskies a 68-63 lead that they wouldn't look back on. After two huge crucial three pointers by Scott Suggs late in the game the Huskies held on for the 88-75 win.

Bryan-Amaning in the second half scored 14 points on five for seven shooting and like the first half was perfect four for four from the foul line. Bryan-Amaning grabbed six rebounds in the second half to finish the game with nine rebounds. Thomas scored 10 points on three for six shooting and was four for five at the foul line in the second half. Thomas was able to find his teammates better in the second half as well. After having just two assists first half Thomas had six assists in the second half. Scott Suggs added six points in the second half hitting both three pointers. Wilcox finished with five points all in the second half. The Huskies shot 17-29(58.6%) from the field in the second half and considering they were just 3-10 from three point range that means they were 14-19(73.7%) on two point field goals.

For the game the Huskies survived hot shooting from the Sun Devils who shot 26-52(50.0%) from the field and 9-15(60.0%) from three point field goals. The Sun Devils had two 20 point performances from Ty Abbott who added 20 points and Trent Lockett who also scored 20 points. In the end the Huskies showed why they are the best team in the conference. They took on the Sun Devils best game of the year and still won by 13 points thank to Bryan-Amaning scoring a career high 30 points. Thomas finished with 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds including three steals. The Huskies also got 10 points from Scott Suggs, Six points from Terrence Ross and five points from C.J. Wilcox. The Huskies had just five points from Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton. Overton did have five assists to just one turnover and somehow recorded two blocks.

The Huskies now improve to 7-1 in Pac-10 play for the first time in the Lorenzo Romar era. The Huskies are clearly the best team in the conference and that isn't even up for debate. When the Huskies play to their capabilities nobody in this conference can beat this team espcially at Hec Ed. When the Huskies are featuring Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Isaiah Thomas is doing what he does best which is help his teammates out the Huskies can win. The Huskies won today despite their opponent shooting 50.0% from the field and 60.0% from three point range. The Huskies won today despite Justin Holiday scoring just five points. The Huskies won because they have two of the best players in the conference in Thomas and Bryan-Amaning. Thomas is the best player in the conference right now and is playing his best ball of his career(More on him later). Romar has to be happy with his team so far this year as this is probably his most balanced team he has ever had.


- Although Isaiah Thomas had a huge week this week I think his teammate Matthew Bryan-Amaning will win Pac-10 player of the week. For the week Bryan-Amaning averaged 24 points per game, grabbed eight rebounds a game and blocked 2.5 shots a game. He also shot 18-29(62.1%) from the field and also made 12-16(75.0%) from the foul line.

Bryan-Amaning is having a terrific Senior season which usually happens under Romar. Bryan-Amaning in Pac-10 play is now averaging 19.3 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, and 1.5 blocks per game. He is also shooting 62 for 101(61.4%) from the field in Pac-10 play. Bryan-Amaning is having a monster year and has stepped up his game in Pac-10 play.

- Isaiah Thomas for the seventh straight game had at least seven assists or more. Thomas in those seven games is averaging 9.1 assists per game. He is racking up assists while still maintaining a high scoring average. He is averaging 19.7 points per game during that stretch. His scoring has increased and he is helping his teammates score.

Thomas showed this week why he is the best Pac-10 player right now today. Derrick Williams may have a brighter NBA future but for college Thomas right now today is the best player in the conference. Thomas emergence has allowed Bryan-Amaning to dominate the Pac-10 like he has. Bryan-Amaning mainly has to just catch the ball and have an easy dunk or lay up.

- The role players of Scott Suggs, C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross finally all played well together in the same game. Suggs finally had a good game as a starter. Suggs scored 10 points on two for two shooting from three point range in the second half. He is currently leading the Pac-10 in three point field goal percentage. Safe to say Suggs should be shooting more.

Terrence Ross scored six points in the first half hitting two threes. While other freshman C.J. Wilcox who has been MIA for a month it feels like finally hit a huge three pointer to break the tie. Wilcox added five points for the Huskies.

The Huskies don't need much from these three guys just for them to contribute. They don't need to go off but if each guy can knock down some threes and play smart out there that is huge. These three guys combined had 21 points and most importantly hit five three pointers.

All in all the Huskies should win this conference for the second time in three years. The Huskies have two of the four best players in the conference on their team. The Huskies feature the best player in the conference on their roster. The Huskies are the deepest team in the Pac-10 as well. Despite the Sun Devils playing out of their minds today the Huskies still won by 13 points. The Huskies will have a tough test next Sunday against the Washington State Cougars who will be playing for their NCAA tournament lives. The Huskies have beaten the Cougars four straight times so should be interesting to see how the Huskies respond in a hostile environment. The Huskies are 7-1 for the first time under Lorenzo Romar in Pac-10 play. The Huskies are looking to be 8-1 in the first half of the season. As long as they are featuring Matthew Bryan-Amaning I don't see the Huskies losing anytime soon.

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