SEATTLE -- The Huskies weren't going to look past Portland this time.
The Huskies (7-3) bounced back from an unimpressive 74-66 loss to No. 11 Georgetown last Saturday at the John R. Wooden Classic to avenge a season-opening loss suffered at the hands of Portland last season.
Portland (6-4) returned all of its starters from that squad and were looking to try and capture the same magic that allowed them to shock the Huskies a year ago.
Not this time.
"It was a lot of motivation tonight to come out and play as hard as we can," Pondexter said. "We really remember that loss that we had there last year. ... We really wanted to come out and rebound from that game."
Pondexter and Thomas gave the Huskies a formidable one-two punch. Pondexter scored inside while Thomas drained two 3-pointers to open up a 16-2 lead over the first 6 minutes.
Elston Turner connected for a 3-pointer from the left wing, and hustled back on defense to pick off a lazy Portland pass that led to a fastbreak with Venoy Overton finishing in traffic and picking up a foul.
Following a missed 3-pointer by Jared Stohl, Pondexter took a pass from Thomas on the right wing, moved past a flailing Taishi Ito and fed the ball to Matthew Bryan-Amaning for a reverse layup to extend the lead to 38-13.
"That's Husky basketball. We really take pride in our defense," Pondexter said. "When we get that part of the game down, it makes it so much easier for us to get out and run and score a bunch of points."
Washington forced Portland into 12 first-half turnovers and converted them into 26 points in building a 47-17 halftime lead. The Huskies finished with 35 points off Portland turnovers.
"The key for us was taking care of the basketball because transition defense was going to be critical and rebounding was going to be critical," Portland coach Eric Reveno said. "Both those things become a lot harder if they are on the break the whole time."
Nik Raivio and Luke Sikma tried to lead the Pilots back in the second half, leading a 10-2 run to get within 59-38. The Huskies answered moments later with a 14-0 run culminating in a rim-rattling alley-oop dunk from Thomas to Pondexter with just over 7 minutes left.
"We played as well as we've played since Portland State tonight, and maybe even better that we played against Portland State," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We had gone on a stretch where we'd won a few and lost some, and in the midst of it still hadn't really put in an efficient effort together and tonight we did."
Washington also responded from a lackluster second half against the Hoyas last week.
Georgetown broke open a 30-29 halftime lead by opening the second half with a 21-2 run that buried the Huskies. They turned the ball over 25 times with Thomas and Pondexter each responsible for five of them.
The Huskies managed to take much better care of the ball against Portland, committing 11 turnovers for the game and only two in the first half.
Thomas put together a well-rounded performance adding eight assists and no turnovers.
"You could just see he was just slowed down just a little bit," Romar said of Thomas. "I thought he picked his spots, drove to the rim when it was there and found guys for open shots."
"I think that played a big part in the type of start that we had tonight."
Scott Suggs scored a career-high 13 points for the Huskies. Raivio was the only Pilot to finish in double-figures with 13.