SEATTLE (AP) -Washington forward Quincy Pondexter will play in Saturday's Pac-10 showdown with Washington State.
``I think he's going to be fine,'' Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said Wednesday, after Pondexter's sore back and ribs were evaluated.
The 16th-ranked Huskies can win their first outright conference title since 1953 with a win.
Pondexter, a starter for all 30 games this season while averaging 11.5 points per game, fell hard late in the first half of Tuesday's win over Seattle. He said he was initially scared his season was over.
``I woke up a little rough this morning,'' the junior said. ``Thank God we have a couple of days before we play. I'll be all right.''
When asked if he had anything X-rayed Wednesday, Pondexter said, ``No. I don't want to. Nothing's wrong.''
His production has increased during conference play as opponents have paid more attention defensively to leading scorer Isaiah Thomas, fellow guard Justin Dentmon and to rugged star Jon Brockman inside.
Pondexter fell on his side following a soaring leap over a defender to the rim for a basket on Tuesday night, that he rushed from the bench to the baseline to attend to his player. Pondexter shuffled into the locker room a few minutes later and then was in the lineup to begin the second half of the rout, against the wishes of trainers and some teammates. The home crowd roared when they saw him return, and Pondexter smiled at the fans.
``I wanted to come out and play at least a couple of minutes to show everybody I was going to be OK,'' he said.
Romar still had his eye on Pondexter on Wednesday, a day off from practice for the Huskies. When Pondexter entered the back of the room in which the coach was giving an interview, Romar looked back and said, only half-jokingly, ``Oh, Quincy just walked in. I was looking to see if he was wincing or not.''
Pondexter had 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting when the Huskies beat Washington State in Pullman 68-48 on Jan. 3. It was the UW's first victory in eight tries against WSU.
Washington (23-7, 13-4) can claim the Pac-10 title for itself by beating the Cougars again, or if Oregon State upsets second-place UCLA in Los Angeles on Thursday.
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