SEATTLE - The Seahawks didn't have the only come-from-behind win in Seattle on Saturday.
You might never know it from the final score, but the Washington Huskies also had to climb out of a hole before charging to their 103-72 win over Oregon State at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Even at that, coach Lorenzo Romar opened his postgame press with a nod to that team across town: “How about the Seahawks?” he said. “Sweet.”
Romar was pretty happy about his own team, too. The win moved the Huskies to 12-3 overall, 4-0 in the Pacific-10 Conference, and was their 11th straight conference victory – UW’s longest streak since the creation of the Pac-10 in 1978.
“It beats the alternative, that’s for sure,” Romar said. “It’s something. We’ll enjoy this today. But we hit the road again. ... We’ve got to practice right. We can’t rest on our laurels at this point. (We’ve got to) continue to get better.”
There certainly seemed room for improvement through the early going Saturday.
Oregon State led from the second minute until the final minute of the first half. The Beavers’ lead peaked at 37-28, and it began to seem like this might just be one of those games when a pair of OSU 3-pointers ricocheted in off the backboard.
“We took a huge shot from Oregon State in the first half,” Romar said. “... They were very physical, they were scrappy, they came out ready to play. When you play that hard, other things start to happen in your favor. They hit two 3s that banked off the backboard: They earned that. You get after it like that, you’re focused like that, good things usually happen.”
Meanwhile, the Huskies started cold. Guards Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton repeatedly worked into the Beavers’ 1-3-1 zone and then kicked out to open teammates – who missed.
However, their confidence has grown to the point where they figured things would change.
“At the beginning, (OSU) was hitting almost everything,” Thomas said. “They was hitting like three bank shots or whatever. Me and Venoy, we said, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’re going to come back.’ No matter what it is, we feel like we can come back from any deficit.”
The Huskies did that with a vengeance: a 12-2 run to end the first half. A 22-5 run to start the second.
“That had everything to do with our defense,” Romar said.
“Our team understands ... when we go on a run – if we begin to create distance on our opponent – it’s because of the defense. It’s not because we start hitting shots, we realize it’s because we start getting stops.”
Leading the way was Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who had 24 points, 15 rebounds and two of Washington’s 10 blocks.
“He was just aggressive,” Thomas said. “He was going after every board. And when he does that, he was a force in there. ... When he’s energized like that, he’s kind of hard to guard.”
In the second half, the Huskies hit 25 of 39 shots (64.1 percent) and outrebounded the Beavers, 27-12.
“I called timeouts when I thought I should have, but I don’t think that is going to stop these guys,” OSU coach Craig Robinson said. “You have to defend these guys and play tough the entire game, or a tie game will turn into a blowout in five minutes.”
Oregon State (7-8, 2-2) was led by sophomore Jared Cunningham, who scored 21 points.
The Huskies will return to Pac-10 play Thursday at Stanford. Then they visit California a week from today.
“(Stanford) at this point is undefeated (in conference), and (Cal) has played real good despite not getting more wins,” Romar said. “Cal against Arizona, they were impressive on the road for a young team, and they won (Saturday). So we have our work cut out for us.”
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com