Huskies Enjoy Exhibition Success

SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies, led by the 21 points of junior guard C.J. Wilcox, defeated Western Washington 88-78 in an exhibition game to start out their 2012 season. Abdul Gaddy and Andrew Andrews added 14 and Scott Suggs 13 for the Huskies.

With the game tied at 69, Washington outscored the Vikings 19-9 in the final 6:55 of the game. Wilcox scored 11 of his game-high 21 points during that final stretch. He also added seven rebounds and four steals to his game totals.

"If you take his points away he still rebounded, stole the ball, deflected the ball, he defended, he took charges—a really complete game," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said of Wilcox. "When your best players are there they need to step up like that. That's what you expect from guys that have been in the program and know what they're doing. You hope that ‘s what they end up doing. He wouldn't have had to do all that he did tonight and he still would have had a great game."

Chris Mitchell and John Allen led Western Washington with 17 points apiece, and Paul Jones chipped in 15.

Romar made a late tactical move that helped to seal the deal for the Huskies.

"Coach just made an adjustment, a simple adjustment," UW's Abdul Gaddy said. "We doubled the on-ball and they didn't see it coming. We got a couple quick steals. That was good on coach's part."

The move led to back-to-back steals by Jernard Jarreau and Wilcox that led to dunks by both - pushing Washington's advantage to 11 with 75 seconds to go and the game fully out of reach.

Romar felt that down the stretch his team acted like a 'veteran team'. "I saw probably two possessions where we were rattled a little bit and were out of sorts," he said. "But aside from that, we stuck with what we were trying to do."

"(WWU) won a national championship last year and coach warned that they were going to be a team that wouldn't let up, even if they were down," Gaddy added. "They tied it up. We expected it. It just shows that we've got a lot of work to do."

"The last minute and a half I think we unraveled," added first-year WWU Head Coach Tony Dominguez. "It was a good effort as a preseason game. It gave us some stuff to work on."

Romar noted that the Huskies also have plenty to work on too. "Contesting shots…rebounding," he said. "Those are the two. And rebounding quite a bit, but continuing to place an emphasis on contesting shots. It's something you've got to get better at. The rebounding thing, we're going to pay close attention to it, but someone is going to have to step up."

Washington out-rebounded the Vikings 42-34, but were out-rebounded on the offensive end 15-14.

The Huskies also out-shot WWU at the foul line 41-17. Washington made 32 of their 41 attempts, good enough for 78 percent, a nearly 16 percent bump from the Huskies' free throw average of a year ago.

"Hopefully if you look at the offense, a lot of shots are around the rim or 15-foot shots," he said when asked about the free throw discrepancy in UW's favor. "Every now and then it's kicked out for three. You still take threes, but you're playing more inside than out, and when you're doing that you get to the line more. Hopefully that's the case all year."

Wednesday's game was the debut of Washington's version of the UCLA High Post Offense, one where they ran a one-guard front with Gaddy handling the point guard duties.

"I thought our guys did a pretty good job running it," Romar said of the offense. "We got some really good looks at the basket. There were times late in the game where we—panic wouldn't be the word—were negligent and got out of it. A little like a boxer who goes away from his game plan of jabbing and just throwing wild punches and gets knocked out. That's what we started to do. That's the sort of thing that may happen early in these kinds of games that we'll be able to fix. But I thought our guys did a good job. I thought we ran it pretty good for it being an exhibition game."

UW's leading scorer in the first 20 minutes of the game was freshman guard Andrew Andrews. The Portland native had a couple of three-pointers, four free throws and a layup to tally 12 first half points.

"I just take what the defense gives me," Andrews said after the game. "That's always how I've played. If I see something open I'm going to take it, but if not I'm going to try and get these guys shots. I'm aggressive so I expect to score, but at the same time I just take what is there."

Romar seemed quite pleased with the result, especially given the fact that Western Washington gave them everything they wanted, and more. "We've been very fortunate over the last few years to play some opponents in this exhibition game that have really really been able to help us," he said. "This was really really good. You can see why those guys were national champions last year—very good basketball team.

"I thought we got a lot out of this game. I thought our offense was a little ahead of our defense tonight, but I think that will come with time.
Statistics:
Points - Wilcox 21, Gaddy 14, Andrews 14, Suggs 13, N'Diaye 9, Kemp 6, Breunig 4, Jarreau 4, Simmons 3
Rebounds - N'Diaye 10, Wilcox 7, Andrews 5, Kemp 5, Suggs 4, Gaddy 3, Simmons 2, Breunig 2, Jarreau 2, TEAM 2
Assists - Gaddy 4, Wilcox 3, Andrews 3, Suggs 2, Simmons 1, N'Diaye 1
Steals - Wilcox 4, Suggs 2, Breunig 1, Jarreau 1, Kemp 1
Blocks - N'Diaye 1, Wilcox 1, Andrews 1, Jarreau 1


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