Friday, February 18, 2011

Bryan-Amaning dominates Sun Devils again as Huskies earn season sweep 79-62!

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies(18-7,10-4) led by Matthew Bryan-Amaning who had another strong performance proved to be to much against the struggling Arizona State Sun Devils(9-16,1-12). The Huskies took care of business winning on the road 79-62 despite having early troubles. The Huskies overcame an early eight point deficit and the injury to starter Scott Suggs to cruise to an easy win on the road. Just like the last game where these two teams played Bryan-Amaning was just simply to much for the Sun Devils. Bryan-Amaning led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding with 22 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four block shots. The Huskies were also helped out by the resurgent C.J. Wilcox and Venoy Overton who both played their third consecutive good game. The Huskies will now travel to Arizona short handed but the roster appears to be playing well at the right time just like they did last year.

The Huskies began the game pretty slow to the struggling Sun Devils. Remember back in January the Huskies led over the Sun Devils at home by just one point. To make matters worst starting Junior guard Scott Suggs suffered an MCL sprain in the first three minutes and will miss two to three weeks. The Huskies also found themselves trailing 15-7 that is when Bryan-Amaning and C.J. Wilcox took over. The Huskies went on a 16-4 run to take a 23-19 lead. The Huskies continued that run into halftime leading 43-33. The Huskies after struggling offensively ended up shooting 15-32(46.9%) on field goals and 5-15(33.3%) on three pointers. The Huskies were actually attacking the basket and making their free throws shooting 8-11(72.7%) from the charity stripe. The Huskies outrebounded the Sun Devils 20-15 and played better three point defense allowing the Sun Devils to only shoot 3-10(30.0%) from three point range.

The Huskies were led in the first half by Matthew Bryan-Amaning who took a while to get going but once he did it was all over for the Sun Devils. Bryan-Amaning scored 13 points on four for eight shooting and five of six shooting from the foul line. Bryan-Amaning also had a team leading six rebounds in the first half. The Huskies also got a big boost from C.J. Wilcox who filled in great for the injured Scott Suggs. Wilcox scored 11 points on four for seven shooting including three three pointers. Isaiah Thomas struggled in the first half scoring just seven points but had four assists. He only shot three for nine and just one of five from three's. Venoy Overton provided good minutes off the bench scoring five points but grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Once against Ty Abbott kept Arizona State in the ball game scoring 13 points on 6-11 shooting including a three pointer. The Huskies used that first half momentum and carried it over to the second half.

The Huskies in the second half played terrific defense to wrap up the victory. The Huskies held the Sun Devils to 13-36(36.1%) shooting from the field and just 1-7(14.3%) from three point range. The Sun Devils also hurt themselves shooting just 2-12(16.6%) from the free throw line. The Huskies also slowed down Abbott holding him to four points on just one for three shooting. The Huskies also went to the free throw line 19 times in the second half as well. The Huskies outscored the Sun Devils 36-29 and led by more than 20 points throughout the second the half. The Huskies ended the season sweep of the Sun Devils with a 79-62 win over the Sun Devils. The Huskies shot well from the field making 25-56(44.6%) of their field goals including eight three pointers. The Huskies won by getting to the free throw line making 21-30 free throws(70.0%) and also recording 10 block shots to go with 21 assists on the game. The Huskies played one of their best road games in years even though the opponent wasn't very good.

You can't talk about this game without talking about Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Bryan-Amaning like he did in the first meeting destroyed the Sun Devils. Bryan-Amaning scored 22 points on 7-11 shooting and 8-11 from the foul line. Bryan-Amaning grabbed 12 rebounds including six offensive he also blocked four shots on the game showing he was a man amongst boys. Considering this was a conference game this was probably C.J. Wilcox's best game as a Husky. When Suggs went down someone had to step up and Wilcox did just that scoring 16 points on 6-11 shooting including four for nine from three point range. Wilcox also grabbed eight rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked two shots. An all around great game by Wilcox which the Huskies will need in the next coming weeks. Isaiah Thomas struggled this game scoring just 11 points on 4-12 shooting including two for eight from three point range. Thomas did dish out six assists to just one turnover though. Venoy Overton continuing his strong play scored 10 points on two for four shooting including a three pointer grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists to just one turnover while recording a steal. Then Justin Holiday for the second straight game struggled scoring just nine points on three for seven shooting including a three pointer. The Huskies took care of business and now must hope this three game winning streak carries over to Tucson where they take on the 13th ranked Arizona Wildcats.

The Huskies showed some good things today for the third straight game. The Huskies attacked the rim and went to the free throw line. The Huskies are also featuring Bryan-Amaning and not becoming so dependent on Thomas and Holiday. The Huskies are getting good play from their bench especially Overton and Wilcox which one will have to start this Saturday. The Huskies have now appeared to have rebounded from that rough patch at Oregon and must show they can beat a quality opponent away from Seattle. With the way the Huskies manhandled the Wild Cats up in Seattle and with the way the Huskies are playing I think they have a shot. The Huskies lost a great three point shooter in Suggs but they have Overton and Wilcox playing well now. Lorenzo Romar's team appears to be making that late season surge as they typically do. This team unless they lose out will be going to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. They have turned it around and have one last chance to still win the Pac-10 regular season title this Saturday in Arizona.


- It wasn't all smiles in the Huskies win over the Sun Devils as they lost junior guard Scott Suggs for 2-3 weeks due to an MCL sprain. That is a shame as Suggs was playing well as of late and for the year. For the year Suggs has made nine starts and is averaging 7.3 points per game in only 17.8 minutes on the year. Suggs is a terrific shooter too as he is shooting 45.5% from three point range making an average of 1.7 three's a game.

Suggs was playing really well the last six games too. In the last six games Suggs has averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting 14-32(43.7%) from three point range which is an average of 2.3 three pointers a game. Since Suggs has been in the starting lineup the Huskies are 6-3 on the year. Now someone like C.J. Wilcox today or Terrence Ross will have to step up. For the next 2-3 weeks the Huskies will only have eight scholarship players who are active. This isn't a killing loss but this loss will hurt more than people can even imagine especially if the Huskies get in foul trouble.

- Beware Pac-10 Venoy Overton appears to be back. Overton who had struggled terribly in a 10 game stretch in the bulk of the Pac-10 schedule appears to have turned it around. Overton after scoring in double figures just once in the first 12 Pac-10 games has scored in double figures back to back games. Overton was struggling and we can all speculate why which I don't feel like talking about.

Overton the last three games has been producing averaging 10.0 points per game, 5.3 assists to 1.0 turnovers a game. Overton is also shooting 8-18(44.4%) including hitting a three pointer in three straight games. Overton has also gone to the free throw line 16 times the last two games showing he has been agressive. He has also recorded a steal the last three games as well.

The Huskies getting production out of the active conference leader in assists and steals is so huge. He was a guy the Huskies were counting on as he was the fourth leading scorer last year and third in minutes. With Overton playing like the Huskies expected they could make a run.

- The Huskies have also received great play from C.J.Wilcox and given Suggs injury they'll need him to continue that. Wilcox in the first 11 games of the Pac-10 season was shooting just 4-21(19.0%) from three point range. Wilcox only played in nine of those games scoring just 22 points combined which was an average of 2.4 points per game.

Well in the last three games Wilcox has turned it around. He is averaging 13.3 points per game and made 10-23(43.4%) from three point range. He is averaging 3.3 three pointers a game during that stretch. Wilcox overall is shooting 13-26(50.0%) from the field and perfect on his four free throw attempts. He also has three blocks and two steals during that stretch. It appears Wilcox has turned it around. Sometimes hitting some garbage time three pointers can be the start of good things to come. Wilcox only played 13 minutes in that blowout win over California last week but he hit four three pointers and has played himself back in the rotation. He'll be asked to duplicate Suggs terrific three point shooting.

- Matthew Bryan-Amaning dominated the Sun Devils once again. For the year against the Sun Devils Bryan-Amaning is averaging 26.0 points per game, 10.5 rebounds a game, 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 18-27(66.7%) from the field and 16-19(84.2%) from the free throw line. Now Bryan-Amaning isn't a guy who just dominates the worst team in the Pac-10. After a mini two game slump he appears back on track.

In the last four games Bryan-Amaning has shot over 60.0% in all four games. During that four game stretch Bryan-Amaning is averaging 19.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds a game, 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 32-50(64.0%) from the field. The Huskies are starting to finally featuring Bryan-Amaning again and he is starting to connect on his field goal attempts.

On the year Bryan-Amaning is having a first team all pac-10 type of season. Bryan-Amaning is averaging 16.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds a game, 0.9 steals a game and 1.6 blocks a game. He is shooting 57.7% from the field on the year. In Pac-10 play Bryan-Amaning is averaging 17.7 points per game, 9.1 rebounds a game, 0.57 steals a game and 1.7 blocks a game. He is shooting 100-171(58.4%) from the field during this 14 game stretch for the Huskies. Bryan-Amaning is a Senior and I feel as if our fan base doesn't appreciate how well he is playing this season.

- The Arizona State Sun Devils probably wish Lorenzo Romar would be fired. Since Romar has arrived at Washington the Huskies have dominated the Sun Devils. Romar began his career getting swept by the Sun Devils but ever since then he has only lost to the Sun Devils just three times which is tied for the fewest losses to any Pac-10 opponent. Romar in nine seasons against Arizona State is 7-2 at home, 7-2 on the road and 2-1 in the Pac-10 tournament against them. Add it all up and Romar is 16-5(.761%) against the Sun Devils. Romar winning percentage against the Sun Devils is the best amongst all Pac-10 teams. To say he has their number would be a slight understatement.

All in all the Huskies blew out a pretty crappy team on the road. The Huskies current three game winning streak has been against the seventh, eighth and now last place team in the Pac-10. The Huskies aren't exactly beating stiff competition but they were swept down in Oregon to the current ninth and sixth place teams. The Huskies took care of business and did what they had to do. By winning this game they avoided another black eye and unless they lose their remaining Pac-10 games or to Seattle U they will go back to the NCAA tournament. This Saturday is huge because if the Huskies lose they won't realistictally have a chance to win the Pac-10 regular season championship. The Huskies win or lose this Saturday showed they are moving in the right direction on the season. The slump appears to be over and the Huskies are playing well as a team. Should be fun this Saturday as the Huskies hope to win in Tucson for the first time since 2006 when Brandon Roy was a senior. The Huskies are playing good ball and if they win this Saturday it should surprise nobody.

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