Washington pummels Stanford behind Pondexter
SEATTLE – Quincy Pondexter scored 27 points as Washington rediscovered its winning ways in the Pac-10 with its largest victory ever over Stanford, 94-61 on Thursday night.
Pondexter scored 14 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half for the Huskies (11-5, 2-3 Pac-10).
The lead reached 41 points for Washington, which had lost consecutive Pac-10 games by double-digit margins to Oregon, Arizona State and Arizona, and came in looking nothing like the defending conference champion.
Landry Fields scored 17 points for Stanford (8-8, 2-2), which had won two straight.
Jeremy Green was 3 for 10 from the field and had just seven points after scoring a career-high 30 Saturday against UCLA, as his Cardinal looked more like the team picked to finish last in the conference.
Poor shooting, a season-high 20 turnovers and an eight-minute scoring drought in the first half kept Stanford from its best start in the Pac-10 since 2004, when it was the Pac-10 champion and 30-2 overall.
Humbled but back home, the Huskies got back to their showy, freewheeling style with a constant parade of breakaway dunks during their eighth win in nine home games against Stanford.
The game’s most telling, symbolic scene came in the final minute of the first half. Darnell Gant soared to block Fields’ inside shot off the glass to get the crowd roaring. Then all five Huskies dove to the floor in pursuit of the loose ball in the lane, along with just two Cardinal players. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar came onto the floor, went into a crouch and yelled and clapped his support for the held ball. Stanford just watched.
Fields then berated a teammate for a bad pass on the inbounds play, Stanford’s 13th turnover of the opening half.
It ended with Washington ahead 41-22.
Pondexter’s second consecutive 3-pointer put the Huskies up 53-31 with 4 1/2 minutes gone in the second half. Pondexter, who had just three 3-pointers in 14 tries all season, playfully held his arms out with his mouth agape to celebrate the rare hot streak outside.
He and the Huskies kept going.
Washington’s only senior banked home another basket. Then, after a long jumper by Isaiah Thomas – who finished with 15 points – Pondexter jammed in a pass from Venoy Overton after yet another Stanford turnover. The 11-0 run made it 59-31.
Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins called timeout, put his hands on his hips, stared at the floor and said nothing. His Cardinal did little more than that.
Washington’s lead got to 41 on Pondexter’s final basket with 5 minutes left. He left with his 10th game with 20 or more points this season.
Fields entered averaging 22 points per game, but took only two shots in the game’s first 10 1/2 minutes while Pondexter and defensive specialist Justin Holiday (making his first start) took turns practically stepping on his shoes to guard him.
Green didn’t make his first basket until more than 17 minutes had elapsed, on his fourth shot. He was 1 for 5 from the floor in the decisive opening half.
Stanford had as many shots as turnovers – nine – over the first 11 minutes. That allowed Washington to take a 15-point lead. The Cardinal’s eight-minute scoreless spell came in that span.
The Huskies went up 38-18 with 4 minutes left in the half when Pondexter hit a long jumper and then hit Holiday on a give-and-go bounce pass from the post for a baseline layup.