SEATTLE – Freshman Terrence Ross scored a season-high 25 points and No. 23 Washington shut down Oregon in the final 12 minutes, pulling away for an 87-69 victory Thursday night.
Ross made up for a slow night from leading scorer Isaiah Thomas — although Thomas closed strong — to help the Huskies (11-3) open Pac-10 play 3-0 for the first time in six seasons.
Ross hit 11 of 18 shots, capping the night with a lob dunk off a pass from Thomas. Ross previous high came just over a week ago when he scored 18 points in an overtime victory at USC.
Oregon's Joevan Catron made things interesting by starting the second half with 11 straight points and helping Oregon take its first lead at 42-41. But after Johnathan Loyd's 3-pointer gave Oregon a 47-46 lead with 16:40 left, the Ducks never led again. Oregon went nearly 9 minutes of the second half with just one field goal.
Catron finished with 20 points for the Ducks (7-8, 0-3).
Thomas came alive late, finishing with 20 points, including a breakaway dunk in the final two minutes that had Hec Edmundson Pavilion roaring. He closed the night with a deep 3-pointer that gave the Huskies a 21-point lead. Thomas also added nine assists and six rebounds.
Reserve Scott Suggs, who went scoreless last week in two games in Los Angeles, added 13 points, as did reigning Pac-10 player of the week Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who also grabbed eight rebounds.
Washington was playing its first game since losing sophomore point guard Abdul Gaddy to a torn ACL in his left knee after being hurt in practice earlier this week. The Huskies started Venoy Overton in his place, a move likely to last, but also saps the Huskies from their biggest energy boost coming off the bench.
At times the Huskies looked completely lost without Gaddy trying to figure out the Ducks various defensive looks. Oregon used a variety of traps and zones in an attempt to confuse and slow down the Huskies on the offensive end.
And for a while it worked.
But Ross was simply too good. The freshman wasn't as highly touted as former high school teammate Terrence Jones coming out of the Portland, Ore. area, but Ross is proving nearly as dynamic. Known as a shooter Ross was 3 of 7 on 3-pointers, but just as effective around the basket.
Garrett Sim added 13 points for Oregon, who couldn't overcome a disastrous stretch of horrid shooting in the second half. Between Sim's basket with 12:28 left and Jeremy Jacob's baseline jumper with 3:34 left, the Ducks made just one shot and scored six points.
Catron took over to start the second half, starting the half on a personal 11-4 run. Loyd's 3-pointer gave Oregon its final lead and the Huskies responded with a 14-6 run to regain control. Ross scored on a difficult up-and-under basket near the rim, Suggs added a 3-pointer and then capped the spurt with a run-out layup behind the Ducks defense and a 60-53 Washington lead.