Well, the Huskies picked up a much needed win last night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The 74-51 win over Cal State Northridge was decisive and dominating. It could have been even worse, but the Huskies were a little sloppy with the ball.
Washington will practice this morning and then break for the holidays. They will return to practice on Dec. 26 and being preparing for Pac-12 play.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said it would be time to panic if his team came out and played in a similar fashion as it did against to South Dakota State.
“We learned what we need to do better, we learned what works for us,” said sophomore Terrence Ross, who added 12 points and eight rebounds. “Tonight, we made it clear that we have to play defense to win. And that’s what we did.”
How much better was the defense? Even Romar seemed mildly satisfied.
“Much improved, much improved,” he said.
Cal State Northridge (3-9) might be the weakest opponent the Huskies have played this season, however, including Houston Baptist.
Northridge came into the game shooting 37 percent from the field and 26 percent from the 3-point range. And the Matadors served up a shooting show that will make those anemic numbers decline. They made just 13 of 54 shots, including 2 of 10 from 3-point range. But they did make their free throws. Of the 51 points, they scored 23 from the free-throw line.
The Matadors needed almost six minutes before scoring their first field goal. They turned the ball over 22 times and missed open shots.
“They were able to get some stops on us and they turned us over quite a bit,” said Northridge coach Bobby Braswell. “We had 22 turnovers and I think they scored 21 points off the 22 turnovers. So, defensively they just got after us and we didn’t respond to that very well at all.”
How much of it was the Huskies re-energized defense, and how much of it was the Matadors’ offensive ineptitude?
“There were a lot of minutes where that effort regardless of who we are playing, especially the first 12 to 13 minutes of that game,” Romar said. “We were keeping the ball in front of us. There wasn’t a whole lot of dribble penetration. There wasn’t a whole lot of guys getting to the rim. And when they did, our rotations were on point.”Look at the effective shooting percentage. That's kind of a large discrepancy. Northridge might be the worst shooting team I've ever seen.