Balanced attack leads Huskies over LBSU

SEATTLE - Anyone that has followed Washington basketball with even a passing interest has heard the stories about C.J. Wilcox and his shooting prowess. He put those talents on display Tuesday night at Hec Ed, scoring a career-high 20 as he led UW to a 102-75 win over Long Beach State.

The redshirt freshman from Pleasant Grove, Utah was deadly from deep, canning six three-point shots out of eight, and his 20 points was three better than his next-best effort against Virginia in the first round of the Maui Invitational. He was often the recipient of extra passes, courtesy of Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas, who combined for 14 assists.

"We knew he was a shooter," LBSU Head Coach Dan Monson said of Wilcox. "What I was disappointed in was that a lot of his baskets were while we were in man. We were trying to switch, but we weren't quick enough to cover him on the perimeter. They are a very good team, and you can't stop everything."

Wilcox ended up with extended minutes because of a knee injury to Scott Suggs, and he made the most of his 23 minutes on the floor.

What did he miss? Two… that's a bad night for him—but you always got to know where he is, especially him, Terrence (Ross) and Suggs," Thomas said after the game. "You got to know where the guards are, especially when you want assists, they're going to make their shots. As a point guard you should know where your shooters are."

"C.J. Wilcox was exceptional shooting the basketball," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "I call him a video game sometimes, when he's out there shooting. He's got one of the nicest jumpshots…he gets his feet set as well as anyone. That's Ray Allen-type of stuff, the way he shoots the basketball and the way he gets on balance. We always knew he could shoot. He can flat shoot it.

"And I thought that Abdul Gaddy was exceptional shooting the basketball. I thought Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas, several times, made great extra passes for a better shot. All that was good."

Thomas added 19 for Washington (4-2), while Abdul Gaddy (17), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (14), Justin Holiday (11), Overton (10) and Darnell Gant (10) were the other Huskies to score in double-figures. Gaddy's 17 was also a career-high, four more than the 13 he had two weeks ago in UW's victory over Eastern Washington, and Bryan-Amaning added four blocks to his scoreline.

Overton, the senior from Franklin High School, may have had the most solid line of the night; 10 points, eight assists, one block and three steals.

Aziz NDiaye started the game for Washington in place of Bryan-Amaning, and had to receive treatment for a cut lip at half-time after a big face-first crash going after a loose ball at the end of the first half. He ended up getting stitches.

"Matthew still played the same amount of minutes; I think he even played more than his average. It was a tough game for Aziz because they were smaller and they started in a zone, but I thought he was fantastic. He worked so hard, he was so dialed in. We rewarded him with a start."

Casper Ware shook off three early fouls for Long Beach State (3-4) to lead the 49ers with 18 points. T.J. Robinson chipped in 15, and Greg Plater (13) and Eugene Phelps (11) were the only other LBSU players to score 10 or more on the night.

The Huskies used a scorching second-half shooting effort to score 58 points in the final twenty minutes, including 10-13 from deep. Long Beach State didn't fold, however; they scored 47 points of their own during that same stretch, but couldn't take advantage of early UW foul trouble.

"Long Beach is a scrappy team, that's for sure," Romar said. "They didn't quit and continued to play the game. Defensively we were way too lax in the second half. It's the first half we've played that way all year."

At the 18:56 mark of the second half, Washington had committed four fouls - two by Gaddy. And even though Long Beach State shot 19 free throws after halftime, it took them until 3:19 remaining to make both ends of a two-shot opportunity. They finished the game shooting .600 from the stripe (15-25).

It's no surprise that Washington dominated every statistical category: They shot .612 from the field; .538 from three-point range; out-rebounded the 49ers 36-30; had 24 assists to the 49ers' 14; had five more blocks (7-2) and three more steals (10-7) than their opponent.

The Huskies beat LBSU in the paint (42-32), off turnovers (23-16) and on the fast break (13-4).

"I think that they can play with any team in the country, especially when they are shooting the ball well and in good offensive rhythm," Monson said. "You have to be able to take something away from a team like Washington, and we are not able to do that. They key off of their defense and they just have a lot of weapons."
Statistics:
Points: Wilcox 20, Thomas 19, Gaddy 17, Bryan-Amaning 14, Holiday 11, Gant 10, Overton 10, NDiaye 1
Rebounds: Thomas 6, Ross 6, Gant 5, Bryan-Amaning 5, Holiday 4, Wilcox 4, Gaddy 3, TEAM 2, NDiaye 1
Assists: Overton 8, Thomas 6, Holiday 3, Ross 3, Wilcox 2, Gaddy 1, Bryan-Amaning 1
Blocks: Bryan-Amaning 4, Gant 1, Overton 1, Ross 1
Steals: Overton 3, Thomas 2, Holiday 1, Gant 1, Gaddy 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Wilcox 1


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