Huskies roll over Panthers

CJ Wilcox had 22 points and Darnell Gant and Tony Wroten had 18 to pace a slow starting Husky squad to a blowout win over the visiting Panthers in the first round of the World Vision Basketball Classic.

Senior Darnell Gant got off to a quick start, scoring the first Husky basket when he grabbed an errant Aziz N'Diaye shot and jammed it home. He followed that with a three-point play to push the Huskies out to an early 5-0 lead. He would follow those baskets with a three from the left wing and then a dunk in transition to push the Huskies out to an early 9 point lead.

The Panthers took advantage of numerous Husky turn overs and back to back treys to withstand the Gant early barrage. Eight straight GSU points made it a 13-12 game before Tony Wroten broke the streak with a pair of free throws.

Rashaad Richardson kept the visitors around with some hot three-point shooting. He finished the game with 21 points including 7 of 10 from three point range. With 8:00 left in the half the game was tied at 23 all. To that point the discombobulated Husky offense was shooting just 7 for 18 from the field with four turnovers.

Wilcox carried the Husky offense later in the first half, including an end to end drive and finish while drawing a foul. When he connected on his free throw, the Huskies were up six at 31-25. Richardson once again answered for the Panthers with a three.

Two Terrence Ross free throws and a Tony Wroten driving layin through traffic pushed the Huskies up by 10 at the two-minute mark. Ross brought the Hec-Ed crowd to its feet when he skied above everyone to grab an errant Gaddy three-point shot, and put in the rebound in a very athletic move.

Wroten finished the half with another one-on-one drive to the hoop and strong finish to make it 43-33 at the half.

The first five minutes of the second half was all Huskies, as the home team put their foot down on the accelerator and left the Panthers behind in the dust.

The perimeter game came alive and Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox hit threes sandwiched around a huge N'Diaye block at the other end. A Gant three and an N'Diaye banker from just outside the paint put the Dawgs up by 20 and the game was never in doubt again.

Tony Wroten proved to be unguardable. After overcoming some early turnover issues, Wroten continually pounded the paint, scoring nearly at will on a variety of drives. His 6-5 frame and quickness make him a very difficult matchup for anyone. He shot 7 for 14 from the field but just 4 of 8 from the line. His seven rebounds and two blocked shots show his versatility. He is likely going to be Washington's biggest paint threat, as almost all of his baskets came within four feet of the rim. He finishes STRONG.

Wilcox wound up shooting 8 for 12 including 5 of 8 from three point range, and made his only free throw attempt. His 22 points were two shy of a career high.

When the Huskies cleared the bench, walk-on Alex Wegner nailed a three that sent the dawg pack into a frenzy. They were about to go berserk as Brendan Sherrer came to the hoop uncontested, but the excitement of the moment got to him and he launched his lay up attempt about four feet too strong.

The Huskies scored 42 points in the paint, but had trouble setting up their big men. Early on the dawgs attempted to get the ball inside to Aziz but he could not find the range nor the touch. His hands so look better this year but I wouldn't expect to find a lot of offense from him until he discovers a post move that doesn't result in an offensive foul.

N'Daiye and Gant will also need to stay on the floor, as freshman Sean Kemp looks lost and the defense suffers when he's on the floor. He is a freshman so that is to be understood. He has done a nice job of getting into shape physically though.

Washington will face Florida Atlantic tomorrow at 5PM. The game will not be televised but Bob Rondeau will return (from what was undoubtedly a difficult trip to LA) to call the action on 950AM KJR.

For the game, Washington shot 51%, a huge improvement over their cold first half. They were 10 of 24 from three point range but hit just 60% of their free throws. Gaddy was just 1 for 3, Wroten was 4 for 8, and Simmons was 4 of 6. That is an area that needs improvement, as the Huskies struggled from the line in their exhibition game against Seattle Pacific as well.

Still, the length of this team is going to make it extremely difficult to score against. When they go into lock down mode on defense, you have five guys on the floor all 6-4 or taller that can move and jump. The perimeter is defended well with hands in your face on nearly every shot and passing lane, and when you get through the tall guards, there is 7-foot Aziz in the middle waiting to block the shot. He and Gant team well inside on defense.

Gant's shot looks flawless this year. He was 7 for 8 from the field including 2 of 3 from three point range. His stroke is a thing of beauty.
Scoring: Wilcox 22, Gant 18, Wroten 18, Ross 11, Gaddy 7, N'Diaye 4, Simmons 4, Stewart 3, Wegner 3, Kemp 1.

Rebounding: N'Diaye 8, Gaddy 7, Wroten 7, Wilcox 6, Simmons 5, Ross 4, Stewart 2, Kemp 1.

Turnovers: 12

Blocks: 6

Steals: 6

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