Husky men get first win

The Washington men's basketball team entered Thursday night's game against Wyoming thirsty for their first win of the season. Two hours later, they left thirsty for more with a 79-70 victory over the Cowboys from Laramie in front of 5,435 in attendance at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Five Huskies scored in double figures, led by the 18 of junior Doug Wrenn, who shot 50 percent from the field for the first time with season. Wrenn went 9-18, and added team highs in rebounds (9), blocks (5), and dished out three assists.

"You may look and say, Doug Wrenn broke out of a slump, because he scored 18 points and he shot 50 percent,"said Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar. "But if you look at the fact he had five blocks, nine rebounds, and three assists, that's what Doug is capable of doing. He's a field of stats, a 'fill the box score' type of guy."

Washington (1-3) worked its lead up to 66-51 with 6:20 to go in the game on a Curtis Allen three-pointer, only to see it dwindle quickly in the final minutes. As the Huskies struggled to stay composed and get the ball in the basket, the Cowboys took advantage. Senior forward Marcus Bailey's seven points down the stretch moved Wyoming to within 66-70 as the game moved toward the final minute.

The Huskies held possession, and passed the ball around the perimeter looking to find the open man as the shot clock ticked down. Finally, the ball got in the hands of true freshman Bobby Jones, the wing player from Long Beach Poly High, out behind the three-point arc. Knowing he had to get the ball up, Jones launched a rainbow three with four seconds on the shot clock.

Swish.

That gave the Huskies a 73-66 lead with one minute to play, and ultimately was the nail in the Cowboys' coffin. Four free throws from Will Conroy and two by CJ Massingale in the final 60 seconds put it away.

"It feels great (to get the win), especially to get this at home," said a beaming Wrenn after the game.

Will Conroy continued his scoring onslaught, scoring 13. Curtis Allen had 12, Jones had 11, and CJ Massingale added 10.

Washington fell behind early, again having difficulty finding a consistent scorer. But down 11-4, the lights went on, and the Huskies went on a 13-1 run to make it 17-12.

Wyoming (3-2) never again would claim the lead.

The Cowboys were without the services of their premier player, senior center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, who sat out with a sprained knee. He was averaging 16.7 points and 14 rebounds in the team's first four games prior to Thursday.

Still, Wyoming stayed in the game behind second-chance points that came from rebounds, and by getting to the line often.

They outshot the Huskies 20 to 5 from the charity stripe in the first half, and finished 26-37 for the game. Washington finished 14-22.

"If we can somehow keep our hands to ourselves and keep teams off the foul line, I think we'll do an even better job defensively," said Romar.

The Huskies took a 38-34 lead to the half.

But turnovers killed the visitors from the mountains north of Denver, Colorado after halftime just as they did before intermission. In all, the Cowboys committed 25, and that proved to be their achilles' heel.

Led by Allen and Jeffrey Day, the Huskies extended their lead to 15, only to have it trimmed considerably in the final minutes.

"We will look back in February or March, and in spite of one of their star players not being here, we'll look back and realize this was a big win for us," said Romar.

Wrenn agreed, and added a shout-out to the Husky faithful.

"We have a one-game road trip, and then (six games) at home so we really want our fans to be out here supporting us," said the 6-7 wing.


Notes:
Familiar Faces: Plenty of faces from the Seattle basketball scene were in attendance. Husky standout and longtime NBA star Detlef Schrempf sat courtside. Also at the game were Seattle Supersonics President Wally Walker, and Husky recruits Brandon Roy and Tre Simmons.

Nate Robinson Sighting: Not only did No. 2 suit, he played. Nate came into the game with 15 minutes left in the second half. When his name was announced over the PA, the crowd came to their feet and gave the true freshman from Rainier Beach a loud ovation. He just began practicing with the team last Monday after a season as cornerback on the football team. Robinson played for a six-minute stretch and the Huskies didn't lose anything when he was on the court, as the Huskies outscored the Cowboys 12-6 during that span. Robinson also had four personal fouls in that span.

"(Coach Romar) just told me to get ready and I just told him, I'm ready.'" said Robinson after the game. "It was fun. It seemed like I was playing football again to hear everybody cheering."

Romar enjoyed having the benefit of another quick point guard on the court.

"(Nate) didn't score a basket, but as usual he just brings energy whenever he gets on the floor. The opposition seems to wonder what is going on," he said of Robinson. "He still thought that it was that guy (Mike) Bush from Washington State out there. He wanted to take some of those guys out."

Unhappy Homecoming: Ryan Wildenborg and David Adams, two Washington natives on the Wyoming team, made the trip back to their home state for the game. Wildenborg, a center who first played at Minnesota, had one point in six minutes. Adams chipped in five points in 18 minutes.

The 'Washing Machine': Anthony Washington took no fewer than four charges in the game tonight. The 6-9 freshman power forward from Garfield already plays well with his feet, and hustles to get back on defense. On one exchange of possessions, he missed a shot attempt badly at the offensive end of the court, but ran furiously back to set his feet under the Wyoming basket and draw a charge.

Up Next: The Huskies head down to California to face Santa Clara on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. They then return home for a six-game home span versus Eastern Washington, Florida International, Houston, Cal St. Northridge, UCLA, and USC, which lasts until Jan. 4.


Husky Stats:
Points: Wrenn 18, Conroy 13, Allen 12, Jones 11, Massingale 10, Day 8, Washington 4, Jensen 3

Rebounds: Wrenn 9, Jones 4, Washington 4, Massingale 3, Day 3, Conroy 3, Allen 2, Robinson 1, Shelton 1

Assists: Conroy 5, Wrenn 3, Jones 2, Day 1, Jensen 1, Robinson 1, Allen 1, Washington 1

Blocks: Wrenn 5, Jensen 1, Allen 1, Massingale 1

Steals: Conroy 2, Jensen 1, Wrenn 1, Jones 1, Washington 1

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