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Huskies answer challenge

Washington breaks away to defeat Portland

SEATTLE – Isaiah Thomas and Justin Holiday both scored 20 points, reserve Scott Suggs hit two key 3-pointers midway through the second half, and No. 21 Washington held off a strong challenge from Portland in a 94-72 nonconference men’s basketball victory Monday night.

For the first time this season the Huskies were challenged at home in the second half, watching Portland trim a 16-point deficit to six with 8:25 remaining.

But Suggs answered with a 3-pointer to start an 11-0 run. Suggs added another 3 after Matthew Bryan-Amaning dived to keep a loose ball alive and Bryan-Amaning punctuated the run with a fastbreak dunk.

Bryan-Amaning added 15 points for Washington (6-2).

Nemanja Mitrovic led Portland (7-3) with 15 points, all on 3-pointers.

Luke Sikma, son of former Seattle SuperSonics star Jack Sikma, had 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Pilots. Scoring leader Jared Stohl had 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.

The rare Monday night game created a mellow atmosphere at normally buzzing Hec Edmundson Pavilion, but that didn’t slow down the Huskies’ scoring pace much. Washington, the highest scoring and best 3-point shooting team in the country, hadn’t scored less than 98 points in any of its previous four home games this season – all blowouts decided early in the second half.

But they were asked to respond in the closing minutes for the first time since thelosses to Kentucky and Michigan State at the Maui Invitational.