Huskies Edge Wildcats

The Lorenzo Romar era got underway at Bank of America Arena as the Washington Huskies tipped off with an exhibition game against Central Washington. Led by Will Conroy and his 15 points, the Huskies prevailed over the Wildcats by a score of 68-60 to start things off on a positive note.

Washington seemed to have the game wrapped up at halftime when the score was 39-22 in their favor, but Central Washington came out hard and came out firing by outscoring Washington 38-29 in the second half to give Romar and company a scare.

"We played an obviously feisty, hard-nosed Central Washington team," said Romar. "Give them a lot of credit for how hard they played.

"I liked our defensive effort in the first half. If we could capsule that, bottle that, and take it with us for the rest of the year we'd be OK."

Washington's tough defensive first half made the difference in the game. Central Washington led 11-9 with 14:37 left to play in the half before Washington went on a 20-0 run that was capped off with a jam by Conroy on the other end.

The momentum and the game swung in the Huskies favor until with five minutes left to play in the first half, the scoring mysteriously stopped. The Huskies managed to score only two points as a parade of turnovers from both teams ended the first half.

The Wildcats came roaring back to start the second half by outscoring the Huskies 27-17 in the first 10 minutes. Central's senior guard Terry Thompson, out of Seattle's Ingraham High School, led the charge and finished with a game high 21 points.

The Huskies were not helping their own cause either by playing a sloppy game. After making 46.9% of their shots in the first half, they seemed to have trouble finding the net in the second half by shooting a dismal 23.1% from the floor.

"It's expected right now," said junior guard Doug Wrenn of the sloppy performance. "Some of my teammates are frustrated about our performance and I'm upset at how I performed but games go that way."

Wrenn was 2 for 12, and C.J. Massingale was 3 for 11 from the field. They finished the game with nine and seven points respectively.

The Huskies did not help themselves to the many free shot opportunities that were given to them. Washington only made 21 of their 34 free throw attempts, good for 61.8% from the line. "The good news is we got to the foul line 34 times," Romar said. "If you get to the foul line like that, you're going to win your share of ball games. Even if you're not making your free throws, if you're getting to the line that much, you're going to make enough to win your share."

The Wildcats pulled to within three with nearly two minutes left in the game before the Husky defense decided to show up again and preserved the victory with key defensive plays from freshman Bobby Jones and Wrenn to stop the bleeding.

Jeffrey Day was the only other Husky to score in double figures. He had 11 points including a beautiful follow-up slam off of a missed lay-up from Conroy.

Marlon Shelton made his comeback and had a fine night defending the post. He had a game-high 10 rebounds and also blocked two shots.

Curtis Allen is quick, very quick. Allen was all over the floor tonight and had four steals along with his nine points. Maybe he can play a little defensive back?

Washington did a nice job capitalizing on 22 Wildcats turnovers and turned it into 21 points. They also gave the ball away 27 times which resulted in 20 points for the Wildcats.

"It is something we have got to get better at obviously," Romar said of the turnovers.

Mike Jensen seemed to be nervous tonight as he missed all three of his shots from the field and his two free throw attempts.

Jensen wasn't the only one who couldn't buy a basket. The entire team shot only 36.2%.


Game Notes: There were a large number of Wildcats fans in attendance. While there was nearly 5,000 people in attendance, it almost seemed as if the game was being played on a neutral court…Several members of the football team including Reggie Williams, Anthony Kelley, Charles Frederick, and Braxton Cleman decided to take in the game after football practice and were in attendance as well…Tonight's starting line up of Jensen, Anthony Washington, Wrenn, Conroy, and Massingale is not set in stone. Romar will most likely fiddle around with the lineup in practice to have something else in place for their next exhibition against Athletes in Action next Monday.


Husky Stats:
Scoring: Jensen 0, Washington 1, Massingale 7, Conroy 15, Wrenn 9, Day 11, Jones 8, Allen 9, Shelton 5, Hudson 3

Rebounds: Shelton 10, Day 7, Washington 6, Massingale 6, Wrenn 5, Jensen 4, Conroy 4, Allen 2

Assists: Allen, Day, and Conroy 2, Jensen, Washington, Massingale, Shelton, Jones, and Hudson 1

Blocks: Shelton 2, Jensen 2, Wrenn 1

Steals: Allen 4, Jones 2, Washington 2, Wrenn 2, Massingale 1, Day 1, Shelton

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