SEATTLE – Sparked by the season debut of sharpshooting senior guard Ryan Appleby, Washington holds a 37-34 halftime lead over No. 12 Pitt this afternoon at Bank of America Arena.
Washington has a 31-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents, dating to December 2003.
Appleby had 12 first-half points on four 3-pointers to spark the Huskies (4-3), who led by as many as eight points. Jon Brockman has 10 points and three rebounds for Washington, which is shooting 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from the field to Pitt’s 42.4 percent (14 of 33).
Pitt (8-0) is led by Levance Fields’ 13 points and two assists. DeJuan Blair has four points and seven rebounds, as the Panthers hold a 22-14 rebounding edge.
The 6-foot-3 Appleby, returning from surgery on his right thumb on his shooting hand, did not start but entered the game at the 15:04 mark wearing a splint. His right hand is taped, but it hasn’t affected his shooting touch.
His first shot, a 3-pointer from the left corner, gave the Huskies their first lead, 10-8, at 14:45. It also sparked a 9-0 run by Washington, which stretched its lead to 14-8 on Jon Brockman’s basket at 13:07.
Appleby made four 3-pointers in the first half, and his timing was impeccable. His second trey came after Pitt trimmed it to 24-21, his third gave the Huskies a 34-29 advantage and the fourth an eight-point lead.
But Fields made a pair of baskets in the final 1:10, the second a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3.6 seconds left to cut Pitt’s deficit to three points at the half.