Washington gets back to their winning ways

SEATTLE - A 19-0 run late in the first half and a 10-0 run in the middle of the second half allowed the Washington Huskies to coast to an 88-65 victory over the Houston Baptist Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena Friday. It was Lorenzo Romar's 199th win as Washington's head coach.

C.J. Wilcox led Washington (4-1) with 19 points, while Tony Wroten had 14 and Terrence Ross racked up his second-consecutive double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Desmond Simmons was the other UW player in double figures, with 10. In all, 11 Huskies scored, including freshman Hikeem Stewart and popular senior walk-on Brendan Sherrer.

Ross and Simmons stuffed the stat sheet for UW Friday; the sophomore from Portland added six steals to his double-double, while Simmons tallied six rebounds, two steals and two assists to his totals. Wroten came up with six steals, while he and Gaddy combined for 12 of Washington's 19 assists.

Houston Baptist (2-4) was paced by the 20 points of Marcus Davis. Joe Latas chipped in 15, while Marcel Smith scored 11 and Tyler Russell 10.

"We told our guys we were going to have to play really well today to win, if not a perfect game, close to it," long-time HBU Head Coach Ron Cottrell said. "We didn't shoot the balls nearly as well as we needed to to win."

After losing by 13 on the road to Saint Louis Sunday, the hometown Huskies needed to get back on track, and this game was a great pick-me-up. "We embarrassed everybody when we went out to St. Louis and played like that," Wilcox said. "So we knew we had to come back strong and make a statement."

With center Aziz N'diaye forced to the bench with a shoe problem, Shawn Kemp, Jr. immediately contributed with four quick points. It was an omen of things to come, as Washington controlled the paint, out-scoring HBU 40-22 and out-rebounding them 51-40. The Dawgs were off and running.

"For the most part, I thought our guys did a pretty good job for tonight," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Guys really attacked the glass. I thought Martin Breunig came in and right away stopped them from going to the offensive boards. I thought everyone just kind of followed suit. I thought our guys were active on the backboards, which is something that we have to be able to reach our potential in all the different areas in case we're not making shots. Rebound the basketball. Obviously, we need to shoot better from the foul line and play good defense. But we were active tonight – 13 steals. We were very active."

After a Latas free throw lessened UW's lead to 23-20 with 8:55 left in the first half, Washington went on a 19-0 run, keeping the other Huskies at bay until 1:39 remaining, when Davis made one of two free throws after it was determined Wroten committed an intentional foul.

Wilcox and Ross spearheaded the charge, scoring 11 of the 19 points in that run that kept HBU scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

Up 16 at the half Washington kept the pressure up, and Wroten's layup with 12:25 left capped off a 10-0 run to give UW a 65-40 lead. HBU wouldn't relent, and actually got the score back to under 20 points, but then the hometown Dawgs put the contest out of doubt when Darnell Gant had back-to-back dunks to push their advantage to 29 with 6:02 remaining.

Before the final media timeout, Sherrer - Washington's 'Human Victory Cigar' - had already made his way to the scorer's table, and when he made his only point via free throw with 1:09 left, the partisan crowd went wild.

Even with the big win, there were several areas the Huskies need to improve on as they hit the road for their next three games. They were 10-21 from the free throw line, and they gave up 14 offensive rebounds.

"We have to play much better," Romar said. "I can't give you a number on it. There were still too many open looks that they got, they still had too many of those."

"Before the game (Romar) told all of us that if we make a mistake, we would come out of the game," added Wroten, who also had six turnovers to go with his six assists. "I turned the ball over one time and he came and got me. It was my fault and there was nothing against him.  He was making a statement that we have the potential to be a very good team. We just have to cut down on the mistakes."
Statistics:
Points: Wilcox 19, Wroten 14, Ross 13, Simmons 10, N'Diaye 8, Gant 7, Gaddy 6, Breunig 4, Kemp 4, Stewart 2, Sherrer 1
Rebounds: Ross 13, N'Diaye 7, Simmons 6, Wilcox 5, Breunig 5, Gaddy 4, Wroten 3, Sherrer 3, Gant 2, TEAM 2, Kemp 1
Assists: Gaddy 7, Wroten 5, Wilcox 2, Ross 2, Simmons 2, Gant 1
Steals: Wroten 6, Simmons 2, N'Diaye 1, Gaddy 1, Wilcox 1, Breunig, Kemp
Blocks: Ross 4, Wilcox 2, Kemp 2, Gant 1


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