It's gone final: UW, 67-57. Not easy or pretty, but a fourth straight will for the Dawgs, who are up to 8-4 on the season.
Wilcox leads all scorers with 22. N'Diaye had 13 points and 12 rebounds. UW shot just 32 percent; jad 43-34 rebound edge.
Here was coach Lorenzo Romar's overview:
Interesting game for us. I can’t remember a game where we shot 31 percent from the field. That hadn’t been a pattern for this team. … We had been shooting a high percentage, and then tonight all of a sudden – with a lot of open looks – the ball didn’t go down. Thank goodness our free throws did. I don’t know if that was a carry over to other areas of the game. We didn’t have 20 turnovers, but our turnovers led to points for them and made it a little easier for them to get buckets at times. But give credit to them: They’re a scrappy team. Nader is a very good offensive player – hard to deal with.
Here's more reaction to the game:
ROMAROn if this team is where he wants them to be heading into UConn:I think we’ve made progress, I really do. It’s hard to tell with so many missed shots tonight. I do, I really believe we’ve made progress from three weeks ago. On C.J. Wilcox’s play up to this point in the season:C.J. is playing at a high level, he doing a lot of things, he goes out and grabbed 7 rebounds again tonight. He’s just doing a lot out there on the floor. When he defended Nader, he did the best job of anyone on him tonight. C.J. has really improved in all areas of the game, he’s not just one dimensional. On what allowed N Illinois to come back a little bit in the second half and make it a game :For whatever reason, we got out of sync during that period and sometimes it really tests your patience and your resolve if that ball continues to not go in the basket, and I think that led to us being out of sync in the second half. Guard Abdul GaddyHow do you feel about your teams performance tonight?We got it done, we got the win. We played alright. We know we have to get better at some things, but we are making progress. With the small crowd tonight because of the football game, was it hard to get going?No, we don’t play off the crowd. It would have been great if we had a big crowd. We knew we had to dial in. The main thing we had to focus on is not looking ahead to Christmas break. We knew we wanted to come out and play 40 minutes hard. Just go out there and get the win. No lack of a sense of urgency. Did they do anything in particular in the second half to get back into the game?No I think it was more us. We got lackadaisical at times. We went a little low where we weren’t getting offensive rebounds, we didn’t know where our man was at, they hit a couple threes. Stuff on our part. Guard C.J. WilcoxIs this team ready to play UConn?Whoever we play, we’ve played Ohio State so we have seen the better teams in the country. As long as we are dialed in I feel like we can hang with anybody Northern Illinois Coach Mark MontgomeryDifference between the blowout vs. Seattle U and hanging with UWWell our guys definitely responded from the Wednesday night game. We guarded tonight. You have to give Washington credit, because they have size and length, but we definitely checked a lot better. That is why you see a lower shooting percentage by Washington, but his is a good Washington ball club. On controlling the pace:Well we made some late threes and we kept playing. The play right before halftime Washington was up eight and they hit a corner three to go up eleven going into the break. That would have been great to go into halftime down single digits. Unfortunately we didn't have much of an answer for Wilcox or N'Diaye inside. On Abdel Nader and the teams’ offensive reboundingThere were some loose balls here and there that we had an opportunity to get, but we just couldn't come up with them. They were just a little quicker getting to some of those loose balls. For Abdel Nader to not practice for two days and come out here gut it out and get 18 points was big. He kept us in the ball game, and he got some other guys in it. This was a successful trip, even though we came out 0-2, we definitely got better as a team. We did some team building things and we went out and saw the sights together. It is just unfortunate we ran into a better team. On Washington's free throwsIt seems like they are usually shooting 70% from the line, but against us they are shooting 90%. If they could have been more like Syracuse today and shot 17-32 from the line, then we might have had a chance, but they got there and made them. I wish we had gotten there a little more, because we shot pretty well and we did some good things. They just had more weapons than us, and they had more guys who have been there and done it.1:41
Abdul Gaddy got UW lead back to double-digits with a trey, but NIU keeps coming. UW, 63-57.
3:41 NIU's Aksel Bolin nails a three, cutting UW lead to 60-52.
7:40 UW, 54-44. But visiting Huskies not going away this time, after being blown out 75-48 at SeattleU on Wednesday.
11:40 UW slowly settling it. Up 52-37. Doing it while shooting just 34 percent from the field. Double-double for N'Diaye.
2H/16:26 UW, 45-32 off of a three from Andrews.
Second half: ... has just tipped off.
Halftime: UW leads, 36-25. Wilcox leads UW with 10 points. N'Diaye has eight, Suggs seven. UW shooting just 32 percent, but has 21-13 rebound advantage. N'Diaye also has a game-high seven rebounds. Forward Kevin Gray leads NIU with six points.
Meanwhile, this report from TNT UW beat writer Todd Dybas from Las Vegas: "Seferian-Jenkins says he need to talk with Sarkisian, his mom and coach Romar prior to basketball decision."1H/7:30 Huskies put together a 13-2 run for a 23-12 lead.
1H/11:11 Sleepy start before a small quiet crowd. UW up 15-2. Eight points from Suggs, five from Wilcox.
Tipoff: We're under way, before a predictably smallish crowd.
Lineups: Huskies going with Gaddy, N'Diaye, Suggs, Wilcox and Simmons.
Other Huskies going with Springs, Gray, Nader and Bowie, Bolin, Balls.
UW in white, NIU in cardinal.
Pregame: The Las Vegas Bowl certainly is getting most of the attention, but there's also a Huskies basketball game going on today: All Huskies, in fact: Northern Illinois Huskes vs. UW Huskies, 4 p.m. at Hec Ed.
Here's our preview story from this morning's paper.
The game will be shown on Pac-12 Net. The radio broadcast is on 1150-AM, as the usual outlets will still be handling the Vegas Bowl postgame show. And we'll have regular updates here, but starting next with lineups.