Washington snapped a two-game skid behind a smoldering C.J. Wilcox.
Wilcox scored 27 points in the Huskies’ 66-61 win over Saint Louis late Wednesday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in front of a sparse crowd.
A game after scoring a career-high 28 points on 25 shots last Saturday, Wilcox was clinical Wednesday. He needed just 13 shots to score his 27 points. He scored on 3-pointers, drives and pull-up jumpers.
Up 54-48 with 7:19 remaining, Washington (3-3) quickly bloated its lead. Wilcox hit a 3-pointer, this one off a designed screen on the right side, and center Aziz N’Diaye (14 points, eight rebounds) followed with a jam off a slip pass from Andrew Andrews.
The Huskies went up 59-48 with 5:56 remaining, causing Saint Louis to call a timeout and the crowd to rise with applause.
The Billikens (3-3) scrapped away to pull to 65-61 with 22.9 seconds to go before fouling Andrews. An offensive rebound by Desmond Simmons after Andrews missed a free throw sealed the game for Washington.
Washington started the second half on a 10-4 run fueled by guard Abdul Gaddy (16 points). He pushed toward the hoop with hard drives and even blocked a shot — the 12th of his career — during the Huskies’ opening run.
Wilcox scored 13 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss was an open 3-pointer that rolled off the rim. His recent aggressiveness to the hoop continued against Saint Louis.
Wilcox scored Washington’s only fastbreak points of the first half when he went coast-to-coast for a lay-in. He continued to curl off screens in the high-post offense rather than drifting to the wing. The scheme gets him 6- and 8-foot shots in the lane.
Gaddy hit a left-wing 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to tie it at 29 after Washington’s bench was outscored 14-0 in the first half. The Huskies again used a tight rotation of seven players while Scott Suggs missed his second consecutive game. Andrews, a redshirt freshman, started in his firstname.lastname@example.org