LAHAINA, Hawaii -- In the first three games of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, we saw dominant individual performances from Kemba Walker, Terrence Jones and Kalin Lucas. In the nightcap, the Washington Huskies showed that a total team effort was the best way to dominate en route to a 106-63 wipeout of Virginia.
The Huskies (who are averaging 108 ppg this season) were once again dominant on offense. Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 21 points, freshman C.J. Wilcox had 16 and the team shot a sizzling 65 percent from beyond the arc (17-of-26).
But the theme of the night for the Huskies was defense. Justin Holiday led the way with six steals along with nine rebounds. The team played a swarming, relentless D that collapsed every time a Virginia player tried to get into the paint. Washington forced 17 turnovers and held the Cavaliers to 39 percent shooting on the way to the rout.
The Huskies are now set for a huge matchup with Kentucky on Tuesday in a game that many are referring to as a grudge match. Kentucky poached two of Washington's best recruits -- Enes Kanter and Jones -- this summer and Husky fans haven't forgotten.
Kanter was ruled ineligible to play by the NCAA, but Jones has been terrific early, scoring 29 points and grabbing 13 rebounds versus Oklahoma earlier in the day.
Will it be payback time for Washington?
"If I really wanted to do the media a favor, I could make up a story that we hate Kentucky," head coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Sorry. If it wasn't Kentucky, it would be the next opponent. Terrence Jones is a fantastic player. We aren't coming out there with any animosity or rivalry. We are coming out there because they are the next opponent and we hope we come in as dialed in as we were tonight."