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Originally published Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Notebook | Appleby returns, makes 6 three-pointers in loss

It took Ryan Appleby five weeks to finally get into a game. Once he did, it took him just 19 seconds to make his first three-pointer of...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday's game at a glance

Player of the game: Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair ruled the paint, scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The 6-foot-7 freshman also had a game-high 14 rebounds to go with three steals and two blocked shots.

Turning point: Pittsburgh outscored the Huskies 31-19 in the first 14 minutes of the second half to take a lead that held up to the end, if barely.

Digits: The Huskies, who led by three points at halftime, shot 44.1 percent (15 of 34) after the break while Pittsburgh was at 60.9 percent (14 of 23). Pittsburgh made nine more free throws than the Huskies (14 to 5) overall.

Next: Portland, Saturday, 3 p.m. at Edmundson Pavilion.

It took Ryan Appleby five weeks to finally get into a game.

Once he did, it took him just 19 seconds to make his first three-pointer of the season.

The senior from Stanwood missed Washington's first seven games with a broken thumb. But while he wore a wrap and had some trouble dribbling and passing, his shooting was just fine as he scored a team-high 18 points in the Huskies' 75-74 loss to 12th-ranked Pittsburgh.

"I've been waiting five weeks to get out there again and get a chance to play," he said. "There's no better feeling than that. It would have felt a lot greater if we had gotten the win, though."

Appleby hit four of his first five three-point tries in the first half as UW jumped to an eight-point lead.

"He's a difference-maker for their team," said Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon.

He wore down some in the second half and missed five in a row before hitting two more in the final three minutes to lead UW's comeback.

"My thumb's not bad," he said. "It's not 100 percent yet, but I tried to play through it. I'm still trying to get my legs back from sitting out those five weeks."

Lineup shuffle

In the wake of a 96-71 loss to Oklahoma State a week ago, UW coach Lorenzo Romar went with his third different starting lineup of the season, replacing Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Quincy Pondexter and Justin Dentmon with Joe Wolfinger, Joel Smith and Tim Morris.

"We went with those who had shown the biggest commitment to defense," Romar said. "Nothing else."

Appleby's return could cause even more of a shuffle as he had been pegged as a starter before being injured. With Appleby back, freshman Venoy Overton started but played just 13 minutes.

But Overton said he understands.

"We've got our whole team now so this is the time to see how we are going to do this year," he said. "I think I will get a lot of playing time with [Appleby]. So right now, I'm just taking it a step at a time."

Note

Artem Wallace had his best game of the season, coming off the bench for six points in 16 minutes. He had played a total of 18 minutes in the first seven games. "We needed someone who could make a physical presence in the game," Romar said. "He did a nice job."

PITTSBURGH 75
min fgm-a ftm-a or-t a pf pts
Young 28 5-11 3-4 1-3 0 3 14
Cook 28 4-8 5-6 1-1 6 3 14
Blair 31 7-13 2-4 3-14 0 2 16
Fields 36 7-9 4-6 1-5 3 2 20
Ramon 31 1-4 0-0 0-2 2 0 3
Benjamin 14 1-5 0-0 2-2 0 1 2
Biggs 20 2-4 0-0 1-4 0 3 4
Brown 12 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 2
200 28-56 14-20 12-35 12 16 75
Percentages: FG .500, FT .700. Three-point goals: 5-11, .455 (Fields 2-2, Cook 1-2, Ramon 1-3, Young 1-3, Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 2 (Blair 2). Turnovers: 9 (Cook 2, Fields 2, Young 2, Brown, Blair, Ramon). Steals: 4 (Blair 3, Ramon). Technical fouls: None.
WASHINGTON 74
min fgm-a ftm-a or-t a pf pts
Wolfinger 5 2-4 0-0 1-3 0 1 5
Brockman 35 8-18 1-3 7-12 3 2 17
Smith 22 0-2 0-0 0-1 3 1 0
Overton 13 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 1 0
Morris 31 5-7 0-0 1-4 1 2 11
Dentmon 24 2-6 4-6 1-3 2 1 9
Bryn-Amnng 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Appleby 25 6-13 0-0 0-1 2 2 18
Wallace 16 3-4 0-1 2-3 0 1 6
Pondexter 25 3-8 0-0 2-5 4 2 8
200 29-63 5-10 14-34 18 13 74
Percentages: FG .460, FT .500. Three-point goals: 11-24, .458 (Appleby 6-12, Pondexter 2-2, Morris 1-2, Wolfinger 1-2, Dentmon 1-3, Overton 0-1, Smith 0-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2 (Pondexter, Appleby). Turnovers: 8 (Pondexter 4, Smith 2, Dentmon, Brockman). Steals: 2 (Pondexter, Morris). Technical fouls: None.
Pittsburgh 34 41 75
Washington 37 37 74

Attendance: 9,229. Officials: Dick Cartmell, Dave Libbey, Mark Reischling.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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