UW Wins by 30, Takes Tourney Title

SEATTLE - Terrence Ross was feeling it Monday night. The sophomore from Portland hit six three-pointers as he led the Washington Huskies to a 93-63 win over the Portland Pilots, securing the World Vision Basketball Classic Title Monday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. In Lorenzo Romar's 300th game coaching the Huskies, he came up with his 198th victory in the purple and gold.

Ross wasn't the only one scoring for the Huskies (3-0); he led six UW players in double-figures as they handed the Pilots (2-1) their first loss of the season. Since the Pilots also went into Monday's contest undefeated, the game turned into a de-facto Championship affair.

"They keep coming," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar of the Pilots.  "We're always concerned when we play them but I thought the guys put forth our best team effort tonight.  Not only in terms of sharing the basketball but in terms of team defense and really trying to help each other out, our team was lost into the game.  I didn't think anyone had their own agenda.  I thought we all just played Husky basketball and those were the results."

The Huskies made sure they took care of business early, jumping out to a 18-6 lead after a Tony Wroten defensive rebound and layup with 12:26 remaining in the first half, forcing a Portland timeout. When they came back out, Ross heaved up a heat check, but missed. Abdul Gaddy made a bomb, and Tournament MVP C.J. Wilcox added two more before Ross gave the Huskies the ultimate exclamation point to end the half - two made three-pointers in the final 46 seconds of play.

At half, UW led 43-23, but they were just getting warmed up.

By the first media timeout of the second half, the Huskies were up 25; with 14:41 to go the lead bulged to 31. After a Dorian Cason three-pointer, Portland Head Coach Eric Reveno called timeout and changed the Pilots' offensive strategy. They sped up the game, using their point guard Tim Douglas as the focal point to try and out-quick the UW guards and get to the basket. It would either lead to lay-ins, fouls by the Huskies' front court, or assists for easy baskets.

The strategy worked for a few minutes; with just under 11 minutes to go, Portland had cut their deficit to 20. But when they needed some stability on the offensive end, the MVP came through with two free throws and then Ross added two more three bombs to put the game completely out of reach.

"We were trying to handle their on-ball screens in different ways trying to not let them get a rhythm off of things, but we really thought the key for us defensively was taking care of the basketball, and I would probably give us a C in that category," Portland Head Coach Eric Reveno said.  "We could have done a better job, but we also could have done worse."

Romar was effusive with praise when it came to Ross after the game, but not about what you'd expect. "He's never really defended that long, for that many minutes," Washington's Head Coach said of Ross. "And I think as a result his shot may have suffered the first couple of games because he was really trying on the defensive end.  When you do that a few times, then your offense comes.  Once you get it and you focus on the defensive end, you just have a general focus all the way around and you can tell that's what he had."

Everyone on the Washington bench played, including the two walk-ons, Brendan Sherrer and Alex Wegner. Outside of the six players in double-figures - Ross, Wilcox, Gaddy, N'Diaye, and Wroten - Sherrer and Wegner were the ones responsible for the rest. Sherrer made two free throws, to the delight of everyone in Alaska Airlines Arena, and Wegner added a straightaway three off glass with 1:04 remaining.

Even though he hasn't started yet, freshman guard Tony Wroten got starter's minutes Monday. In his 24 minutes of work he came up with 11 points, six assists and three steals. "Tony Wroten definitely is just like a starter, no doubt about it," said Romar.  "He missed 10 practices as a freshman, but when he comes in the game gets a little quicker.  He has a great, great push with the basketball.  He brings excitement and energy to our team when he comes in the game.  But I think he'd do the same in a starting role as well."

The Pilots were led by the 17 points of Douglas; he was the only Portland player to score in double-figures.

"As long as we got better as a team I think everyone is going to be happy," said Wilcox. "Yesterday we didn't play too well, but coming in today we came out with energy and played the right way for most of the game and that's always a good thing."
World Vision Basketball Classic All-Tournament Team:
MVP - C.J. Wilcox - Washington
Greg Gantt - Florida Atlantic
Eric Buckner - Georgia State
Nemanja Mitrovic - Portland
Terrence Ross - Washington
Abdul Gaddy - Washington
Statistics:
Points: Ross 24, Wilcox 17, Gaddy 15, N'Diaye 11, Wroten 11, Gant 10, Wegner 3, Sherrer 2
Rebounds: N'Diaye 7, Gant 6, Gaddy 5, Wroten 5, Wilcox 4, Ross 3, Simmons 2, Kemp 2, TEAM 2, Breunig 1, Sherrer 1
Assists: Wroten 6, Gaddy 5, Stewart 3, Wilcox 3, N'Diaye 1
Blocks: Kemp 2, N'Diaye 1, Wilcox 1, Breunig 1, Simmons 1
Steals: Wroten 3, Wilcox 2, Gant 1, N'Diaye 1, Ross 1, Stewart 1


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