December 12, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was surprised by his team's performance Saturday against Montana.

But, it was an extremely pleasant surprise.

Marquese Chriss scored 22 points and Dejounte Murray added 16 as Washington took control early and rolled to a 92-62 non-conference victory over the Grizzlies.

''I'll be the first to admit I did not see that coming,'' said Romar. ''We were prepared to play a tough game down to the wire. We felt that's what it was going to be. But, give our guys a lot of credit. We came out ready to play from the outset.''

Washington (7-2), which starts four freshmen, opened a 13-0 lead before freshman guard Michael Oguine hit a 3-pointer for the Grizzlies with 16:46 left in the half.

Montana (3-5), which lost 61-58 at No. 20 Gonzaga on Tuesday, had four turnovers and committed four fouls before scoring. The Grizzlies cut the lead to 13-8 on Oguine's jumper from the right corner, but the Huskies methodically pushed the lead to 52-30 at the half.

The Huskies outscored Montana 28-8 to open the second half, pushing the lead to 80-38 with 10:48 remaining.

Montana coach Travis DeCuire said the Huskies presented a much more difficult matchup for his team than Gonzaga.

''Two different teams. Speed kills,'' DeCuire said. ''Their speed, their athleticism, their length, you can't emulate that in practice. In preparation for Gonzaga, I have big guys so I could practice guarding the post, but this game was very difficult to prepare for.

''By the time our guys got a feel for what was out there on the floor in terms of their pressure and how they shot in the gaps in passing lanes, we were down,'' DeCuire said.

Oguine had 22 points for the Grizzlies, who are 3-0 at home, but 0-5 on the road.

The Grizzlies leading scorer, senior forward Martin Breunig, who played in 30 games for Washington in two seasons before transferring to Montana, was held to just three points on 1-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 14:15 remaining. He came in averaging 20.6 points.

''I could see that he was getting frustrated, but any competitor kind of gets mad when you're not playing up to your own expectations,'' Chriss said. ''I don't blame, but he's a good player.''

Washington forced 12 first-half turnovers, converting them into 20 points. The Huskies also took advantage of 16 first-half fouls against Montana, making 16-of-22 free throw attempts.

The Grizzlies were called for their 10th team foul with 6:44 left in the half and Washington scored 10 of its final 19 points of the half from the line.

Montana was 4-for-10 from three-point range in the first half, but just 5-of-22 inside the arc.

Romar said there still is plenty of room for improvement before the Pac-12 season begins.

''We focused on December being an important month for us, to try to get as good as we could possibly get before league,'' Romar said. ''I like our progression. I think we're making good progress, but we still have a ways to go to get to a point where we can go in conference and compete at a high level.''



Montana: This was the first time since 1982-83 that the Grizzlies played both Gonzaga and Washington in the same season. That year, Montana lost to Gonzaga 57-54, but followed with a 72-65 victory over the Huskies.

Washington: The Huskies also lost to Gonzaga this season, losing 80-64 in the Bahamas on Nov. 25. The Huskies lead the all-time series with Montana 44-9.


Although Breunig was saddled with early foul trouble and played just 15 minutes before fouling out, Romar said he was still both impressed with and happy for his former player. ''I'm going to say it again, I've said it before, I can't be more proud of a guy that was here and not here anymore as I am for Martin,'' Romar said. ''I'll pull for that guy forever because he's a great kid and he's doing extremely well. It's great to see.''


Montana: The Grizzlies host Great Falls on Tuesday.

Washington: The Huskies host Oakland in a non-conference game on Dec. 19, the fourth of eight consecutive home games.

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