Monday , Nov , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Colonels will need secret recipe to upset Huskies

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – The 17th-ranked Washington Huskies are heavily
favored against the Nicholls State Colonels in tonight’s BTI Classic game.
Nicholls State got crushed in its season opener on Saturday, losing to
Mississippi State by a 90-55 final. That defeat was followed by last
night’s 68-63 setback against Northern Iowa, a much better showing but an
equally disappointing result. The Colonels are playing their first nine games
of the season away from home, and it will be difficult to get off to a strong
start with that type of schedule.

As for Washington, it kicked off the new campaign against Pepperdine last
night, and that game resulted in a 99-91 triumph. The Huskies finished 26-7
last season and participated in their third straight NCAA Tournament. They
reached the Sweet 16 and certainly have the talent necessary to earn a bid to
the “Big Dance” once again.

This tilt marks the first-ever meeting between Nicholls State and Washington
on the hardwood.

The Colonels put forth a horrendous effort in the season-opening loss to
Mississippi State, as they shot 35.9 percent from the floor and suffered a
44-19 rebounding advantage. In the narrow loss to Northern Iowa yesterday,
Nicholls State was much more competitive. The team connected on 45.1 percent
of its field goal attempts while limiting its opponent to 38.2 percent shooting
from the floor. Unfortunately, the Colonels suffered a 35-26 rebounding
disadvantage, including 14-6 on the offensive glass. A 16-4 disadvantage in
points from the foul line also hurt Nicholls State’s chances. Adonis Gray
racked up 20 points and nine rebounds in the setback, while Aaron Scott tallied
11 points.

Last night marked the first game for Washington in the post-Brandon Roy era.
The star of the 2005-06 Huskies moved on to the NBA as a lottery pick, and his
tremendous production will be missed. Still, the Huskies managed to score 99
points on 52.9 percent shooting from the floor in their first outing of the
season. The fact that they turned the ball over 24 times was disappointing, but
a 43-30 rebounding advantage figured prominently in the outcome. Jon Brockman
was tremendous in the victory, as he tallied 25 points and 12 rebounds. Quincy
Pondexter pitched in 21 points, and Justin Dentmon contributed 13 points.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Spencer Hawes with 12 points and
seven assists off the bench. Ryan Appleby was held scoreless in the clash, as
the three-point specialist couldn’t find his stroke.

Go with the Huskies tonight, as they should have no troubling cruising past
Nicholls State. Washington will likely have a comfortable lead by intermission,
giving the team a chance to play some young guys over the final 20 minutes.