Complete Effort for UW on Senior Day

SEATTLE - In what was a game meant to honor seniors Tyreese Breshers, Darnell Gant and Brendan Sherrer, Terrence Ross took center stage, scoring 25 points, collecting five rebounds, and pilfering five steals to lead Washington to a 79-70 victory over the Arizona Wildcats Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena.

College basketball pundits marked this game as a "must win" for Washington to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid in case they are unable to earn the Pac-12 automatic berth. The Dawgs answered the call. Head Coach Lorenzo Romar thought the 40 minutes played Saturday was one of the team's best games of the year.

"We've played complete games, but they've been scattered, we haven't been consistent," said Romar. "I think this weekend was some of the most complete basketball we've played. If you look at the first half against ASU and this game, so that's three out of four halves of complete basketball."

The win keeps Washington in at least a share for the Pac-12 lead after the weekend, barring the result of the California versus Oregon State game Saturday night. At least until the Bears face off against Oregon State at 8 pm PT, UW is one-half game in front for the Pac-12 regular-season title chase. The Huskies move to 19-8 overall and 12-3 in the Pac-12, while the Wildcats drop to 19-9 overall and 10-5 in the Pac-12.

A full Hec Edmundson Pavilion witnessed the end of the home careers of Gant, Sherrer, and Breshers who was forced to retire after just one season due to injury. Romar graciously gave the hardworking Gant and Sherrer starting nods and curtain calls at the end of the game for their dedication to the Husky Program.

"I was too nervous to cry," Sherrer said. "I knew I was going to do okay. You know, play how we practice and I was going to be fine."

Throughout the week, Gant has been teased by the media and his teammates alike about crying on Senior Night after he made fun of Huskies in the past for letting their emotions flow.

"I told you all the more you said I was going to cry, the more I wasn't going to cry, smirked Gant. "I'm an actor, I can hold it in if I need to."

Gant also made clear that the win was a momentous one, and he was clearly touched by the accolades after five years of service to the Washington basketball team.

" I was emotional," he added. "At one point in the game, I felt like it was hitting me, but at the beginning, I was just enjoying it."

Ross and freshman Tony Wroten, however, was largely responsible for sending the seniors out with a win. They combined for 47 of the team's 79 points. The sophomore from Portland earned a chant of "one more year!" from the Husky faithful at the end of the game as he stepped to the line to put the finishing touches on the win.

"First of all I wasn't shaking my head like ‘no I'm not coming back," Ross clarified. "I meant I couldn't believe they are chanting this right now on Senior night. I was flattered, but I don't know what I'm going to do – I might come back, I don't know.

Only just a sophomore, Ross is projected to be a first round pick in this year's NBA draft and Dawg fans as well as Romar are hoping he sticks around for at least his junior year.

"If I feel like I'm ready, then I'll sit down with my family and Romar and talk about it. But at this point I'm coming back; I'm not trying to jump to any conclusions right now. I'm just focused on the team."

"When Terrence is playing like that it just makes our team that much harder to defend, said Romar of Ross' play throughout the game. "They sort of have to zero in on him, so that opens it up for C.J. and the rest of the team."

After an erratic 3-14 shooting performance in the first half, Wroten bounced back strong in the second half, going 5-8 from the floor for 12 of his 22 points. Two of those points were a ferocious dunk in transition against Arizona freshman Angelo Chol that will surely be on ESPN Sport Center's Top 10 later Saturday evening. If it isn't, then Aziz N'Diaye's coast-to-coast effort that resulted in a dunk is a no-brainer. Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller was furious at the officials for not calling traveling, and he was eventually served up a technical foul for his vociferousness.

"He was trippin'," Gant said of Miller.

The Huskies receive a week off before playing against struggling rival Washington State Saturday in Pullman. The break comes at an opportune time for the team as several players are dealing with injury, notably Wroten (thigh/shin/tailbone/elbow), Ross (shoulder/ankle), N'Diaye (wrist), and Wilcox (hip).
Statistics:
Points: Ross 25, Wroten 22, Wilcox 11, Gaddy 9, N'Diaye 8, Gant 3, Seferian-Jenkins 1
Rebounds: N'Diaye 12, Wroten 9, Ross 5, Gant 4, Wilcox 3, Gaddy 2, Seferian-Jenkins 2, Simmons 2, Sherrer 1
Assists: Gaddy 6, Wroten 2, Ross 1
Steals: Ross 5, Gant 1, N'Diaye 1, Simmons 1
Blocks: N'Diaye 4, Gant 2, Ross 1


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