ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jamaal Williams led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points, and 13th-ranked Washington defeated New Mexico 81-71 Saturday to give the undefeated Huskies their eighth consecutive win for their best start in 36 years.

Washington led by as many as 20 points in the first half and never trailed in the game. New Mexico (4-3) closed within one point on Mark Walters’ 3-pointer midway through the second half before the Huskies pulled away to win the opening contest of the 12th annual John R. Wooden Classic.

Brandon Roy added 18 points, Bobby Jones had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Justin Dentmon had 11 points for the Huskies.

Walters topped the Lobos with 21 points, and Tony Danridge had 15. Kyle Prochaska had 10 points and nine rebounds.

New Mexico rallied from a 43-26 halftime deficit to pull within 58-57 with 11:02 remaining. Washington then regained control over the next 2 minutes, as Williams made a three-point play and reserve Hans Gasser hit three consecutive baskets and the Huskies rebuilt the lead to 67-59.

Gasser missed his only other two shots in the game.

Washington last began 8-0 in the 1969-70 season. The Huskies’ longest streak to start a season was 18 in the 1928-29 campaign.

Roy had 11 first-half points to help Washington to its 17-point halftime lead. Danridge scored all but two of his points in the first half.

Washington finished 29-6 overall and 14-4 in the Pac-10 last season and won the conference tournament before being eliminated by Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies have two non-conference games remaining before opening Pac-10 play at home against Arizona State on Dec. 29.

The Lobos, 26-7 overall and 10-4 in the Mountain West last season, have six games left before opening conference play Jan. 4 at Utah.

AP-ES-12-10-05 1735EST

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.