Bryan-Amaning Powers Huskies Past Beavers

Final Score: Washington 82 Oregon St. 70

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Matthew Bryan-Amaning powered Washington past Oregon St. 82-70 Saturday evening at Gill Coliseum to close out the Pac-10 regular season, in front of over 8,000 fans on senior night for the Beavers.

Bryan-Amaning (11, l.) led everyone in scoring and rebounding, recording a 20 point, 11 rebound double-double. The high scorer in the first half, with 12 points, plus a couple of impressive defensive stops against the Beavers' Joe Burton, was the reason Washington was ahead of Oregon St. 37-29 at halftime instead of being behind by a similar margin.

Having that lead allowed Washington coach Lorenzo Romar to open up Washington's court spacing to start the second half, and double the size of their lead.

Back to back three pointers by Elston Turner and Isaiah Thomas extended the Washington lead to 18 points, as the Huskies surged to a 54-38 lead with 14:11 left to play.

Roeland Schaftenaar, battling back after twice having to leave the court for treatment of a turned right ankle in both the first and second half, scored eight straight points for Oregon St., as the Beavers battled back within nine points, as the Beavers were behind 58-49 with 11:29 left.

Schaftenaar led the Beavers in his last home game, with 15 points.

It was as close as Oregon St. got the rest of the way, though. Washington used two three pointers by Venoy Overton and one by Thomas to keep the Beavers at bay.

Bryan-Amaning's layin with just over five minutes left opened the Huskies' largest lead, 20 points, making the score 77-57.

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Seniors Seth Tarver and Schaftenaar (l.) led a Beaver rally that cut the deficit in half in three minutes, but when Calvin Haynes' three pointer rimed out with 1:42 left, the Huskies had the win that secured them third place in the Pac-10 standings. It was Washington's sixth straight win over Oregon St.

"There was a lot of plays there that were just better plays than we could defend," Oregon St. coach Craig Robinson noted. "The key point of this game was at the end of the first half, when they had that blitz of lay-up after lay-up. They pulled away from us."

Robinson credited Washington's players for their effort, saying "Those players are tough, but there not bad kids, they know how to bring it. They are also very athletic, as well as they have a little bit more skill than people like to give them credit for. There were some plays where we were just outmanned. Right now, we are trying to be that team. I thought for probably 3/4 of that game, I was pleased with what I saw."

Washington (21-9, 11-7) will face Oregon St. (14-6, 8-10) again Thursday in the Pac-10 tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Oregon St. finished tied with UCLA and USC for fifth place in the final conference standings, after the Bruins lost 56-46 to Arizona St., and USC fell to Arizona 86-84 in double overtime.

UCLA swept the season series with the Beavers, though, and as a result, claimed the fifth seed in the Pac-10 tournament. USC is ineligible for post season play.

"There are a lot of good teams in this league," Robinson observed, "and they are starting to play well at the right time. I don't think we are playing poorly at all, though. There was a stretch in the game that they were able to spread it out. We were able to keep our toughness and ability to come back. We had an opportunity where we could have cut it to seven from twenty. I saw some toughness out there, and I liked the fact that we were making foul shots. (Oregon St. was 17 of 23 from the free throw line.) We have to play them again next week, so there is a week to learn exactly what we have to do."

Romar didn't see any advantages or disadvantages to seeing Oregon State again in five days.

"I don't know. We've played them twice now, once early, once late, so we do what we do and they do what they do. I don't see there being any radical changes on either side."

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Oregon St. got 13 points from Haynes, and another double digit effort from freshman Joe Burton (11, r.), who had 10 points to go with five rebounds. S. Tarver led Oregon St. with seven rebounds, and also had seven points.

Senior Josh Tarver added five points in his last home game, and the fourth senior, Calvin Hampton, played much of the second half, and grabbed five rebounds.

However, freshman Jared Cunningham struggled against the Huskies, and finished with just six points.

"It's a tough one to lose," Schaftenaar felt. "Especially because it is Senior Day, but also because we could have been in fourth place if things went the right way. But they are tough. They have 21 wins. They should be in the (NCAA) tournament, and I think they will be."

In addition to Bryan-Amaning's big day, Washington's Quincy Pondexter, one of the most likely candidates for Pac-10 player of the year honors, added 18 points.

Schaftenaar noted of Washington's front court duo "Obviously they are good athletes. They got in the lane too easy, too many lay-ups, too many close shots."

"They were very good," Hampton added. "They were tough to match up with. Quincy is very athletic and long. Matt does a lot of work down there. He doesn't get as much credit as he should."

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Thomas (l, shooting over Omari Johnson, 24) added 19 points, while Overton came off the Huskies' bench for 11 points.

Washington took excellent care of the ball, committing just seven turnovers, which exceeded expectations for Romar.

"Our number is 13," Romar explained. "With as many possessions as we have, and as much as we try to run, if we have 13 or below, then we're doing okay. So seven is good, especially against this team, because they lead the league in steals."


Another good effort by Burton, and not losing Schaftenaar for extended minutes with rolled ankles will help Oregon St. in the rematch, and Omari Johnson, Hampton, and Kevin McShane all showed they are able to play the physically daunting Huskies strong.

But better perimeter shooting than the three of ten from three point range the Beavers shot against Washington will be needed if Oregon St. is to advance in the tournament.

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Oregon St.'s Jared Cunningham (l.) drives against Washington's Venoy Overton.

The Beavers will finish the tournament with a losing record unless they win it, which would send them to the NCAA tournament.

The weekend split has become a common experience, as the Beavers have split every home two game league set this season, as well as splitting the last five two-game weekends.

Another split might be a good weekend, as Oregon St. would face the winner of a matchup with Arizona St. or Stanford should they upset Washington. Both the Sun Devils and the Cardinal swept the Beavers this season.

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Jerseys for departing seniors Calvin Hampton, Roeland Schaftenaar, Seth Tarver, and Josh Tarver.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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