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Appleby leads Washington past Southern Utah

Dec 5, 2006 - 5:31 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Ryan Appleby is not to get lost in the hoopla of Washington's heralded freshman class.

Appleby scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 8 Washington to a 87-72 victory over Southern Utah.

A transfer from Florida after the 2003-04 season, Appleby scored 21 points in the first half to stake the Huskies to a 49-37 lead.

"Ryan Appleby was tremendous tonight. He got us going," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "When he shoots the ball like that, you don't think he's ever going to miss. Like the kids say, 'infinity.'"

The Huskies completed a perfect 7-0 homestand to start the season in its final tuneup before Saturday's clash at intrastate rival Gonzaga, which is ranked No. 18.

The Huskies also got a big game from 7-footer Spencer Hawes, the gem of the freshman class. Hawes scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and twice hit baskets after the Thunderbirds (6-3) had climbed within nine points.

"I thought we did a tremendous job of getting him the basketball, but then in turn, Spencer did a tremendous job of finishing," Romar said.

Appleby was 9-of-11 from the field, including 6-for-8 from 3-point range in helping Washington shoot 58 percent (35-of-60) from the field.

The 6-3 junior hit five 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and was complemented by freshman Phil Nelson, who came off the bench to score all 10 of his points in the first half, including two baskets from the arc.

"You know, he was finally able to make some shots," Romar said of Nelson. "But for Phil Nelson, making shots is not a surprise at all. What was good was that on the defensive end he got after it, he got on the floor, dove for a ball or two (and) rebounded relatively well."

Point guard Justin Dentmon chipped in 11 points and 11 assists and Jon Brockman grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Huskies to a 35-25 edge on the glass.

Dentmon also helped limit Mike Barnes, Southern Utah's leading scorer, to 12 points, five below his average.

"I thought Justin Dentmon, on both ends of the floor, was huge," Romar said. "He controlled us offensively ... and defensively. The job he did on Barnes was second to none. Barnes is a really good player."

Justin Allen scored 20 points and Swaney Cooper added 14 for Southern Utah, which won at Utah in its season opener.

    --- --- -----
    SOUTHERN UTAH 37 35 72
    WASHINGTON (8) 49 38 87 FINAL

    Dec 5 12:01 AM


    Dec 4 10:57 PM