No, Saturday night was not a thrill a minute in Hec Ed. A bumbling first half by both teams would have made Bill Walton bellow about the atrocities taking place. But, in the end, it was a 72-62 Washington victory. The Huskies will take it.
One of the familiar trends of this downtrodden season showed up again in the first half. Washington had 13 first-half turnovers -- one more than it had the prior game against Oregon -- and allowed 19 points off those turnovers. Oregon State scored just 34 points in the half.
The Huskies cleaned that up in the second half. Their point guards combined for a 15-to-4 assist-to-turnover ratio on the night. Abdul Gaddy set a career-high with nine assists against three turnovers. Andrew Andrews had six assists and one turnover. Andrews had 11 points and six boards to go with the six assists. Gaddy added four points and four boards and his nine assists moved him into third all-time at Washington with 421 total. Chester Dorsey is second on the list with 466. Will Conroy is the all-time assists leader with 515.
Jernard Jarreau provided a nice jolt off the bench. He had a career-high eight points and seven rebounds in just 21 minutes. This game against elongated Oregon State played into Jarreau's skill set. He also offers a consistent elbow jumper that plays well in the high-post offense.
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When the numbers are piled up, they show Washington on the verge of a big night. The Huskies most consistent player this season -- Aziz N'Diaye -- had a rare bade night. He had six turnovers and just five points and four rebounds. Scott Suggs was 2 for 7 from the field and continues his struggling senior season.
But, outside of that duo, Washington received a lot of contributions. We mentioned Jarreau and the points guards. C.J. Wilcox had 24 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also had six boards and three blocks, two on Oregon State's leading scorer, Roberto Nelson. Wilcox had five turnovers, however.
Shawn Kemp Jr. was 5 for 7 from the field. Desmond Simmons had six points and five rebounds. The addition of Jarreau gave Washington a solid eight-man rotation, at least for a night.
Which leaves the Huskies at 14-12 overall and 6-7 in Pac-12 play. The three-game losing streak is over. It's off to Arizona for two very difficult road games before closing at home with three consecutive.
A few more quick thoughts as I pack for spring training:
> Suggs and Wilcox deserve credit for defending Nelson, who leads the conference in scoring during league play. Nelson went 6 for 30 from the field in the two games against Washington.
"You can’t lose him. We didn’t get our hands up a couple of times," Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said. "I thought that when Scott Suggs was defending him he did a really nice job overall. Nelson got to the line—he’s a very aggressive player, he’s good at drawing fouls. But after 3-for-16 from the floor, I’m sure he would prefer to have had a better game."
> Here's hoping Wilcox learned a tad from Nelson and from one of his own shots. Wilcox has an excellent pump fake. It would be great to see him use it and then get his body into the elevated defender to draw a foul. It could be a provider of six (or more) easy points each night. Nelson was able to do that to Wilcox when he was shooting a 3. He got Wilcox in the air, jumped into him and went on to hit all three free throws. Wilcox took a foul on the interior following a pump fake. Sending him to the line for easy points, adding foul trouble to the opponent, plus making a defender think about that in order to increase air space could be very beneficial to Wilcox.
> The Huskies held Oregon State to 24.1 percent shooting in the second half and 33.9 percent on the night. Had they taken care of the ball in the first half, the game would have been a blowout.
"I think you have to give them a lot of credit," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "They stepped up their defense and we didn’t convert on a couple of things and we were trying too hard to make stuff happen without going through our normal strategy."
> Long live Joe Burton.
|Percentages||.339||.333||.704||Team Rebounds: 1|
|S. Kemp, Jr.||20||5-7||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||1||0||1||2||10|
|Percentages||.500||.267||.737||Team Rebounds: 4|