Depth was the star Monday as various Washington Huskies stepped up at key times in a 94-72 men's basketball victory over the Portland Pilots at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Unlike their previous two games, when C.J. Wilcox and then Justin Holiday broke out with career-high scoring games, this one featured several contributors providing what was needed.
Portland stayed close through much of the first half. But UW coach Lorenzo Romar kept working in new combinations, and the Huskies slowly built their lead.
Terrence Ross finished a fast break just seconds after Wilcox hit a 3-pointer to move the UW’s lead to double digits late in the first half.
Isaiah Thomas put together back-to-back field goals, and Washington had methodically established a 46-31 lead at halftime.
That quickly tumbled to single-digits as Portland’s Nemanja Mitrovic opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers.
But Abdul Gaddy and Darnell Gant answered with 3-pointers of their own.
Something similar happened again in the middle portion of the second half.
The Pilots made a run behind a 3-point flurry by guard Mitrovic, finally closing to 68-62 on Luke Sikma’s layup with 8:25 left.
But then Scott Suggs hit a trey – his first basket of the night – to provide a little more breathing room.
Then another Suggs 3-pointer a couple of minutes later provided the dagger, moving Washington’s lead back to 13.
It finally went into the books as the third straight win for 21st-ranked Washington (6-2).
The result ended a three-game winning streak for the Pilots (7-3).
Thomas and Holiday led UW with 20 points each, and Thomas added a team-high seven rebounds.
Mitrovic led Portland with 15 points, but Sikma, son of former Seattle SuperSonics star Jack Sikma, came on to provide 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Watching in the crowd was former Husky and current Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson, who received a standing ovation when introduced.
Also receiving a nice hand was football coach Steve Sarkisian.
Washington returns to action at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, visiting Texas A&M in its final game of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.