SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar wasn't happy with his Washington Huskies' recent play, and he apparently figured out a way to get that across to his team.
The 24th-ranked Huskies bolted to a double-digit lead in the first five minutes Saturday, stretched it to 30 by halftime, and ended up with an 89-54 win over Portland at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Washington (7-2) had lost two of its previous three games, and Romar was especially unhappy with his team’s carelessness with the ball and on the defensive end.
Both problems vanished Saturday as the Huskies had 12 turnovers – two in the first half – and held the Pilots to 15-of-44 shooting from the field (.341).
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“I thought our guys did a really good job of concentrating on the defensive end,” Romar said. “I thought we made progress.”
Romar helped that progress along by tweaking his starting lineup. He gave freshman point guard Abdul Gaddy his second career start and returned junior Darnell Gant to the starting forward spot he held at the start of the season.
“I wanted us to get a little more organized,” Romar said. “I wanted us to be a little more efficient, a little less risk-taking in that first five.”
Quincy Pondexter had a game-high 17 points, and led four Huskies who scored in double-digits including Scott Suggs, who had a career-high 13 points.
Guard Nik Raivio led Portland (6-4) with 13.
Watching from the stands was Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a native of Olympia who attended the University of Portland.
Washington returns to action at 8 p.m. Tuesday, when No. 23 Texas A&M visits Hec Edmundson Pavilion in UW’s final match of the annual Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808