Pondexter sends Washington past MSU

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Thanks to Quincy Pondexter, even the
supposedly vulnerable Washington Huskies didn't go out early.

Pondexter scored a season-high 23 points and fourth-seeded
Washington took advantage of early foul trouble to Mississippi
State's menacing Jarvis Varnado to race past the 13th-seeded
Bulldogs 71-58 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on

Jon Brockman had 14 rebounds and 10 points for the Huskies
(26-8), who looked far better than the last time they played in
this city, losing to Portland of the West Coast Conference to begin
the season.

Barry Stewart had 11 points but was able to get off just five
shots for Mississippi State (23-13), which reached the NCAAs for
the sixth time in eight years by winning six consecutive games -
including four in its surprising romp to the Southeastern
Conference tournament title.