Bobby Jones scored 22 points to lead five Washington players in double figures as the Huskies beat Houston 110-63 on Friday night.
“We committed 24 turnovers, but after that there’s nothing that I can complain about,” coach Lorenzo Romar said after the Huskies beat Houston 110-63 on Friday. “I can’t think of too many more performances that we’ve had that we’ve done a better job through the entire game on both ends of the floor.”
SEATTLE – The Washington Huskies think they’re playing their best basketball of the season and they look ready to make a run at the Pac-10 championship.
Bobby Jones scored 22 points to lead five Washington players in double figures. Jamaal Williams added 19 points, Tre Simmons and Brandon Roy each scored 16, and Nate Robinson had 11 for the No. 12 Huskies (10-1), who avenged a 15-point loss at Houston last season.
Jones, a starting forward, shot 8-for-9 and led the Huskies with nine rebounds in 25 minutes. Roy, a junior swingman who is considered Washington’s top all-around player, played in his second game after undergoing knee surgery.
Using their aggressive man-to-man defense, Washington stymied Houston’s offense, forcing 23 turnovers. The Cougars shot only 20-for-64 and made just four of 23 3-point attempts.
“We played like veterans today,” Romar said. “You look at the teams that Houston has played and what they’ve accomplished. They’re not a Top 20 team at this point, but they’re no walk in the park.”
Washington scored 100 points or more for the third time in four games and won its sixth in a row since losing to No. 13 Gonzaga by 12 points on Dec. 1.
“That was probably our best start defensively,” Jones said. “Our confidence is extra high. We had one little slip against Gonzaga, but overall we had a great preseason.”
The Huskies beat Sacred Heart 114-53 Wednesday night at home, and their 224 points in two games set a school record. It was the second time they scored 100 points in consecutive games and the first since December 1971.
“This is point guard heaven to play on this team,” said Will Conroy, who had nine assists.
Houston (8-4) was led by Chris Lawson’s career-high 18 points and Andre Owens with 17. The frustrated Cougars were whistled for three technical fouls.
After the game, first-year Houston coach Tom Penders criticized the Pac-10 officiating crew. He said the officials allowed the Huskies to hand check with two hands, use their arms on defense and “knock our guys to the floor.”
“It’s hard to beat five guys, let alone eight,” Penders said. “I would love to play them on a neutral floor or in Houston with Conference USA officials or neutral officials. I think we’d beat them.”
The officials were not available for comment after the game.
Penders said he was afraid a fight might break out between the teams because the play was so physical.
Asked if he was concerned about that, Romar said: “A little bit. There was a little concern. But I thought there were a couple of times where there wasn’t really a reason to call a foul and the officials did.”
Williams agreed the game was physical, but said it wasn’t excessive.
“I think our team responded,” he said. “Instead of retaliating, we just kept doing what we were doing.”
Washington led from wire to wire, scoring the game’s first nine points as Houston missed its first seven shots before Ramon Dyer scored on a dunk with 6:53 gone.
The Huskies led 13-7 before going on a 10-0 spurt, including seven points by Jones. He started the run with a 3-pointer and ended it by sinking two free throws after Englebert Cherrington was charged with an intentional foul. That gave Washington a 23-7 lead with 8:24 left in the first half.
The Huskies led 48-26 at halftime. Houston never got closer than 19 in the second half.
Washington finished second to Stanford in the Pac-10 regular-season race and the conference tournament last season. The Huskies open Pac-10 play against California and Stanford next weekend in Seattle.