Huskies Outlast CSF

SEATTLE - Despite putting themselves in a 14-point halftime hole, the Washington Huskies used a super-human effort by Desmond Simmons and some clutch free throw shooting to defeat Cal State-Fullerton 74-72 in front of fans Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Simmons was one of four Huskies (4-3) in double figures, but it was the 18 rebounds he collected along with his 14 points that were enormous. C.J. Wilcox once again left UW with 21 points, followed by Simmons' 14, 13 from Andrew Andrews and 12 from Aziz N'diaye.

Former Cal player D.J. Seeley paced the Titans (3-3) with 24 points, while Kwame Vaughn and Alex Harris added 14 apiece.

UW was short-handed to begin the game due to injuries to Shawn Kemp and Scott Suggs, and then with five minutes to go lost their senior point guard Abdul Gaddy to cramps, but the Huskies kept pushing and were able to finally break through. Andrews made three free throws in a span of 10 seconds, the first two coming on a strange CSF foul underneath their own basket and then the one that sealed the win - a Seeley foul on Wilcox with 3.6 seconds remaining and Wilcox calmly buried both free throws.

"I was surprised on the first foul, and then they did it again," Wilcox said. "I was really surprised."

"Yeah we played aggressive, we talked about that in the locker room about playing smart and knowing the scoreboard," CSF Interim Head Coach Andy Newman added. "Two mental errors today that ended up costing us but I was really proud of our guys effort. That's a really good Washington team they will be really good in the Pac 12. I'm really proud of how our guys played."

Overall the Huskies were 22-30 from the line and were five of six the last 21 seconds after Simmons failed to convert on the front end of a 1-1 chance that could have extended UW's lead to four with 32 seconds remaining.

"I didn't even know that (Gaddy) was out; I was waiting for him to come back in!" Andrews exclaimed after the game. "I was like…I went up to him after the game and I was like, 'What happened to you?' I thought he fouled out at the end of the game, I didn't even know. I just got to the moment where I just started playing. Everything came to me."

"This may have been I don't think any question, the biggest win for us of our preseason because we are starting to get our team back, get our players back," added UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. "I don't know for sure if they will, but I think some of the guys will attempt to start to practice this week, in terms of Scott and Shawn, attempt to practice and see if they can go. We had to get over this hump of this game here. Somehow we survived it, we are ready to move on.

Down 43-29 at half, Washington quickly went to work in the second half, scoring on four-straight free throw attempts from Simmons and Wilcox. It was Simmons off the bench as Washington's sixth man who helped set the second half change in attitude. UW out-rebounded the smaller, quicker Titans in the second half 23-18. He finished with his second double-double of the year, the other coming in Connecticut versus Seton Hall. He was so aggressive, he even banged N'Diaye in the head above his right eye.

"I don't remember," N'Diaye said. "The play was…I ran into Desmond's I think, his elbow or whatever. He hit me in the eye. But it wasn't something from the other team."

"I felt like to be down 14 at halftime, for us to come back it wasn't a miracle or by chance," added Simmons afterward. "It was because we fought back, we were more physical on defense, we rebounded, we limited some of their second chance points, we geared down and grinded it out. That's why we got back in the game, I wouldn't say it was lucky. Towards the end of the game we kind of kept putting the ball back in their hands but I feel like we pulled through because of us."

Statistics:
Points: Wilcox 21, Simmons 14, Andrews 13, N'Diaye 12, Gaddy 9, Jarreau 5
Rebounds: Simmons 18, TEAM 6, Jarreau 5, Wilcox 5, N'Diaye 4, Gaddy 2, Andrews 1
Assists: Gaddy 6, Andrews 5, Wilcox 3, Simmons 1
Blocks: Jarreau 2, Wilcox 1, Simmons 1
Steals: Simmons 3, Stewart 1


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