Huskies lead by 42 points while rolling to third consecutive blowout win. Marquese Chriss scores 22 points for UW, which improved to 7-2.
Washington continued steamrolling to its big Jan. 1 Pac-12 opener against UCLA with a third straight blowout nonconference win – a 92-62 rout over Montana on Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Huskies were never seriously threatened.
They led 13-0 after three minutes and there was a little bit of drama when Montana scored the next eight points and cut its deficit to five (13-8). Washington was up 19-14 at the 12:28-minute mark when it used an 12-2 run to surge ahead 31-16 with 8:06 left in the first half.
The Grizzlies never got any closer.
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Washington led 52-30 at halftime and outscored Montana 40-32 in the second half.
The Huskies (7-2) did whatever they wanted. They dominated defensively and turned 22 Montana turnovers into 29 points.
Here’s three quick impressions.
Marquese Chriss has star potential — Montana had no one who could defend the 6-8 freshman forward inside. He simply outworked the Grizzlies who fouled him repeatedly. Chriss sank 11 of 14 free throws. He also 5 of 10 from the field to finish with a game-high 22 points. Chriss collected a personal best 11 rebounds – five on the offensive glass – and had four assists. As good as he was offensively, Chriss was equally impressive on the defensive end where he committed a season-low one foul. He’s fouled out of four games and collected at least three fouls in each of the previous contests. Chriss blocked two shots and had a steal in 25 minutes.
Bench players finding valuable roles — It looks as if Coach Lorenzo Romar has settled on a three-man rotation of reserves that includes David Crisp, Malik Dime and Donaven Dorsey. Crisp and Dorsey are two of UW’s best perimeter shooters. Both connected on three three-pointers. Crisp, who had 14 points, delivers a spark off the bench. Dorsey, who had nine points, is steady and in control. Meanwhile, Dime makes an impact defensively. The 6-9 junior center had career-high five blocks, which pushed his season total to 24.
Let the good times roll — It’s been said before, but these young Huskies are fun to watch. They’re long and athletic. They’re risk takers. They’re entertainers and at times they’re pretty good basketball players. Chriss and Dejounte Murray symbolize UW’s youth movement perhaps more than anyone else. Chriss’ defensive gaffes will take him out of games at times. Meanwhile, Murray is all over the place, which is good and bad. He’s perpetual motion – always around the ball. He didn’t shoot a high percentage Saturday (5 of 11), but he finished with 16 points because he was aggressive and drew fouls. Murray was 5 of 8 on free throws. He also had four steals, four rebounds and three assists to offset three turnovers.