Top Performers - Oregon

SEATTLE - When Washington defeated Oregon 90-86 to make it back to New York for the NIT semifinals, it was a true team win. But that being said, there were some standout performers that helped to take the Huskies' team effort over the top for the win. It was hard-fought in every way, as witnessed by Lorenzo Romar's hoarse voice when he addressed the crowd post-game.

Terrence Ross - Again, it was Ross - who scored a team-high 24 points - who kept UW in game with timely offense. From the start of the game he signaled his presence with a 3-point shot and it was the sophomore from Portland who tied it up at 39 before the Huskies gave up a 7-3 run to end the first half. In Washington's last four wins, it's been Ross who has stepped up to be the team's leading scorer, and when he's taking charge offensively and letting his mid-range and deep game take over, it catalyzes everything else they do.

Quotable: "It was a battle, so that's always fun. We brought intensity; they brought intensity, so it was a real intense game until the end. It was a real fun game, especially playing in front of the Dawg Pack and all the fans; (almost) sold out, so it was fun to play."

Stat line: 28 minutes played, 24 points (9-18 from field, 3-8 from three), 3-3 FT, Three rebounds (all defensive), Three personal fouls, One assist, One turnover.
Tony Wroten - The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year had arguably his most complete game. Sure he was able to penetrate for layins and second-chance putbacks, but when the game was on the line he shined. With 4:24 remaining in a 7-point game, Wroten came up with a defensive rebound, and a putback off a miss that pushed Washington's lead to nine. And then, when the game was on the line with less than a minute left, he came up with a monstrous defensive rebound and immediate outlet to C.J. Wilcox, who salted the victory with free throws. Wroten showed tremendous growth in his game, patience when it was required, and deference when he knew it was the right play to make.

Quotable: "It was extremely fun. [Romar] was saying the more you win, the more people come, the more you get into the game. This game, to play a rival team like Oregon to a sold out crowd, we have one of the loudest crowds in the country. When they get into it, it was a crazy, exciting, fun game."

Stat line: 34 minutes played, 22 points (6-15 shooting, including 0-2 from three), 10-14 FT, Seven rebounds (3 OR, 4 DR), Two personal fouls, Two assists, Two turnovers, One block and One steal.
Darnell Gant - Gant, the senior from Los Angeles, became the Huskies' main rebounder with Aziz N'diaye out most of the first half. He got aggressive, especially on the offensive glass, and it paid off with easy buckets. He still needs to get confident with the long-range jumper to force UO to play him honestly, but he's doing it on the defensive end. Oregon's E.J. Singler, who scored 15 points in the first half, was limited to four in the last 20 minutes, due in part to Gant's tenacity.

Quotable: "The most important thing after we extended the lead was to get stops. We kept E.J. under control. They got some offensive rebounds, but I felt like we got the shooters. I think they shot (from three) 29 percent for the whole game. I think they were maybe shooting 40 percent the first half, so we cracked down on defense, got stops and got the ball out to the 3-point shooters. We did a better job of that in the second half."

Stat line: 31 minutes played, Six points (3-5, including 0-1 from three), Seven rebounds (5 OR and 2 DR), Three personal fouls, One assist and One turnover.
Abdul Gaddy - Always the cool head, the junior from Tacoma played nearly flawless. He finished with his first career double-double; 11 points and 10 assists - and was only three rebounds short of what could have been the Huskies first triple-double in school history. When the Huskies needed some impetus offensively, Gaddy would find the right player (if it wasn't him), or Wroten would create. When Oregon pushed back to make it a physical affair, it was Gaddy who helped shut down Duck hotshot Devoe Joseph almost completely in the first half. Gaddy instigated UW's demolition of UO's full-court trap, rendering it nearly useless. In short, he went way above and beyond the call of duty Tuesday night.

Quotable: "I was just trying to make (Joseph) uncomfortable and be physical with him. He's a tough scorer and a great shooter; he knows how to get his jump shot off. I was trying to make it tough on him, use my length to my advantage."

Stat line: 37 minutes played, 11 points (3-7 shooting, including 1-2 from three), 4-6 FT, Seven rebounds (all defense), One personal foul, 10 assists, Two turnovers and One block.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - ASJ came through with big minutes on defense when N'Diaye had to go out with two fouls and 15:35 remaining in the half. He played eight crucial minutes (15 in all), tried to be an offensive presence inside, got a charge on defense and nagged the UO big men all night long. In my opinion it was smart to go with Seferian-Jenkins instead of the longer, taller Shawn Kemp, Jr. when Aziz had to sit. In an electric environment like the one that was at Hec Ed Tuesday night, the game inside more resembled a street fight than a basketball game, with feet getting stepped on and elbows being tossed around like t-shirts to the crowd after made 3-pointers. ASJ was the perfect man for the job - big, physical, not afraid of contact, and savvy enough to mess with the UO trees when they needed a little pruning. He's used to the bright lights when playing in front of 70,000-plus as a tight end on the football team, and it didn't look like playing in front of 9000 at Alaska Airlines Arena got to him either. In fact, he really looked like he thoroughly enjoyed it. And why not? The work he got in bodying up Oregon's best will come in handy this fall when he has to go back to blocking defensive ends on the football field. UW OL Coach Dan Cozzetto would have been thrilled with some of the boxouts ASJ had, as well as his ability to generally create all the space he wanted.

Quotable: "I'm happy. Obviously them going after me felt like I was the weak link, but hopefully next time they know I'm not the weak link. Whatever they bring at me doesn't really bother me."

Stat line: 15 minutes played, Three points (1-3 FG), 1-2 FT, Three rebounds (2 OR, 1 DR), Four personal fouls, One steal.


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