[caption id="attachment_32846" align="alignright" width="480"] FIrst tip of the new UW men's basketball season.[/caption]The Washington Huskies touched the necessary bases in their men’s basketball opener Friday at Hec Edmondson Pavilion.
The Huskies were challenged for a while but never seriously threatened on their way to a 77-59 win against South Carolina State.
"I probably share the same feeling as our team: We got to play a game," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "And that was good after such a long layoff over the summer and a lot of practicing we were able to go out and compete. For the most part I think we did a lot of positive things. There were several defensive lapses throughout the game that maybe kept the score closer at times, and then again – you guys are going to think I’m making this up – but I know we’re a better shooting team than we showed tonight and against St. Martins."
Leading the way for Washington (1-0) was forward Sean Kemp Jr. with 17 points, and guard Nigel Williams-Goss with 12 rebounds, in addition to 10 points and seven assists. In his UW debut, 7-foot center Robert Upshaw had 14 points, six rebounds and tied a school record with seven blocks.
S.C. State is a school of 3,200 enrollment in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The Bulldogs (0-1) play in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference and are in a bit of a down cycle, going 10-22, 5-25 and 9-20 over the last three season. The rebuilding was expected to continue this season after losing five lettermen and two starters.
The Huskies needed only about five minutes to grow their lead into double digits – 12-2. However, they failed to immediate build on that, and the Bulldogs were down just three points through 10 minutes.
Washington created distance again with a 12-0 run, stretching a 20-17 lead to 32-17. The Bulldogs never really recovered from there, although they worked hard enough to keep UW’s attention most of the way.
The Huskies dominated the boards, 51-37, and had eight blocks to the Bulldogs’ zero. However, UW struggled with shooting at the foul line and 3-point arc, hitting 3 of 21 3-pointers (14.3 percent) and 10 of 17 free throws (58.8).
Washington returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 21), meeting Seattle University at KeyArena.
2nd/7:39 UW, 62-48. Seven-footer Robert Upshaw becoming more active in his UW debut: 12 points, four rebounds.
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: UW, 39-23. Sean Kemp leading the Huskies with 11 points. Andrews 8. Nigel Williams-Goss eight rebounds.
Hec Ed probably less than half full.
1/5:44 UW puts on another little run and is up 28-17. Andrew Andrews with eight points.
1/7:26: Huskies haven't built on that early double-digit lead. Bulldogs down just 20-17.
1/14:45 UW lead quickly up to double-digits at 12-2.
Lineup: UW starting Nigel Williams-Goss, Andrew Andrews, Mike Anderson, Jernard Jarreau and Sean Kemp Jr.
Pregame: The Huskies' men's basketball season begins tonight when South Carolina State visits Hec Ed. First tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Net and heard on 1000-AM and 97.7-FM.
We'll also have regular updates here on the blog, straight through to postgame quotes.
Here is Christian Caple's preview story from today's paper.