Huskies defeat Pennsylvania 104-67, lead entire way
SEATTLE (AP) Noah Dickerson has an extremely simple explanation for Washington's fast starts in the past two games: ''We get after it from the get-go. We're ready.''
Fellow freshman Dejounte Murray had a bit more to say following the Huskies' 104-67 dominating win over Penn on Saturday afternoon.
''I feel like it's all about preparation and preparing for each game,'' he said. ''I give props to our coaches because they make sure we deal with one team at a time and we don't ever overlook any team.''
Coach Lorenzo Romar admitted afterward that Washington has been lethargic in practice this week since it returned from a season-opening win over Texas in China. The Huskies have managed to get out to fast starts in a pair of wins, though, on the way to dominating victories.
Washington opened on a 16-0 run Saturday and kept the Quakers from scoring for nearly the first four minutes. The Huskies never were really tested.
''I couldn't be more proud of our team, how we went out and played and approached the game,'' Romar said, noting it had nothing to do with the final score.
Murray led the way with a career-high 22 points for Washington. Andrew Andrews scored 16 points, Marquese Chriss had 15, David Crisp added 14 and Noah Dickerson 13 for Washington. Five players had at least five rebounds for the Huskies.
Even though they start four freshman and regularly rotate seven first-year players into the mix, the Huskies (3-0) are undefeated through three games for the second straight season. It is the first loss of the year for Penn (3-1), which hasn't been 4-0 since the 1978-79 season.
Darien Nelson-Henry scored 13 points, Matt Howard had 10 points and Darnell Foreman added nine for Penn.
The Quakers closed to within 26-14 midway through the first half, but the Huskies used a 20-8 run to pull away. Washington led 54-30 at intermission.
''It's difficult, but in the same sentence, there's a lot of basketball left, too,'' Penn coach Steve Donahue said of the tough start. ''There's so many possessions when you play a team like this. As I said, we didn't turn it over, we just kind of maintain our poise and make a couple open shots, then it changes the complexity of the game.''
Andrews energized the crowd early in the second half with a steal and a nifty dribble behind the back to split two defenders at half court before finishing with a dunk.
Washington never let the Quakers back into the game, controlling the contest in the second half and providing multiple rim-shaking dunks.
''There's something about the excitement of youth,'' Romar said. ''These guys aren't cool. They don't go out and `I don't want to play too hard because people are watching . ' There's an excitement about this group that they feel like that is cool to play hard. That's how we're cool. Not every freshman group is like that.''
Penn: It was a return home for forward Darien Nelson-Henry, who attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Wash. The senior scored 13 points.
Washington: Dejounte Murray eclipsed his previous career-high with 15 first-half points. The prized recruit from nearby Rainier Beach High School was the Washington State Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015.
FINALLY A WIN
It is the Huskies' first win over Penn in three tries. The teams last faced each other in 1993.
The Huskies shot 51.3 percent from the field, including 8 of 20 from behind the arc. Penn managed to make just 32.8 percent of its shots and struggled behind the 3-point line with 6 makes in 28 tries.
Penn hosts La Salle on Wednesday.
Washington plays No. 10 Gonzaga in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas on Wednesday.