C.J. Wilcox (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies raced out to a quick 8-0 and never looked back as they defeated cross-town Seattle Pacific 77-60 Friday night in an exhibition game in front of 9,481 people at Alaska Airlines Arena. All 13 available Huskies played for Lorenzo Romar, led by the 19 points of C.J. Wilcox and the 15 apiece from Abdul Gaddy and Terrence Ross.
Heralded frosh guard Tony Wroten was the fourth Husky in double-digits as Washington laid on the smothering man-to-man pressure early and kept on the Falcons throughout. UW had to play the game without two of their key cogs; center Aziz N'diaye was held out because of a concussion, and senior guard Scott Suggs is out for at least another month with a foot fracture.
Two transfers, Jobi Wall and Andy Poling, led SPU in scoring with 12 points apiece.
"I felt this way coming in and the game didn’t change my feelings at all; we couldn’t play a better team in an exhibition game than Seattle Pacific," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said after the game. "They really tested us with things that we have been working on since September 15th. Defensively, we are really tested tonight. Sometimes we did a really good job, sometimes we didn’t. That’s what these games are for, to show you where your strengths and weaknesses are. Seattle Pacific did a great job of showing us. I hope we all see why we need Aziz. He’s a big deal in a number of ways."
It took the Falcons - who defeated Arizona in Tucson a week ago Thursday - over three-and-a-half minutes to get on the scoreboard, as they had trouble adjusting to Washington's length and withering pressure.
The former Garfield star Wroten, who came into the game roughly six minutes in, didn't have the best of starts. The 6-foot-5 frosh guard dribbled into traffic and got his pocket picked, but later atoned with a strong offensive rebound and put-back for his first points as a Husky. A couple minutes later he found Ross streaking for the bucket and lobbed a pretty pass that was flushed with authority while the UW faithful went crazy. It was the first connection between Wroten and Ross, and it definitely won't be the last.
"There was a big difference between high school," Wroten said afterward. "Coming to the University of Washington with the big crowd and the atmosphere is loud, it’s been great. It’s great to start my college career with a win, which is great to have in college. I was kind of nervous for the first game, with the bright lights. Once I started to settle down, it became a better feel of the game."
The Huskies pushed their advantage to 14 points after Ross connected with a jumper with just under nine minutes left. Seattle Pacific wouldn't go quietly, and with the help of a UW bench technical near the end of the half to draw within seven.
The length and depth of Washington's team was simply too much for the Falcons to overcome. The Huskies blocked 10 SPU shots and also had seven steals to go along with their game-high 41 rebounds. Ross led UW with 8 boards, followed by the six of Wroten and redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons. True frosh forward Jernard Jarreau led Washington with three blocks.
"When you look at the blocks, Jenard Jarreau had three blocks at halftime, C.J. Wilcox had two, Terrence Ross had one, and we have length at the guard position," Romar said. "It wasn’t just our bigs that were blocking the shots. Our guards are athletic and they were able to block shots as well. Ross had eight rebounds, Tony Wroten had six rebounds. Those were our leading rebounders. I think because of our length, it just makes us a deeper team inside because of five tough guys instead of one or two."
A Ross jumper with 18 minutes left in the game gave UW an 11-point lead at 39-28, and the Falcons would never see single-digits the rest of the night. The Huskies used a 13-2 run at the start of the second half to build their lead up to 18, and would eventually see their margin go as high as 19 twice before finishing the game up 17.
"I think they’re really good," said SPU Head Coach Ryan Looney. "They’re long and athletic and they present a lot of problems for you defensively. I think they’re going to have a great year. Their length and athleticism present a lot of problems for people."
Points: Wilcox 19, Gaddy 15, Ross 15, Wroten 10, Breunig 8, Simmons 3, Gant 3, Andrews 2, Kemp, Jr. 2
Rebounds: Ross 8, Simmons 6, Wroten 6, Gant 4, Gaddy 4, Breunig 3, Kemp, Jr. 3, TEAM 3, Wilcox 2, Jarreau 2
Assists: Gaddy 4, Wroten 4, Wilcox 3, Ross 3
Blocks: Jarreau 3, Wilcox 2, Kemp, Jr. 2, Gant 1, Wilcox 1, Ross 1
Steals: Simmons 2, Gant 1, Gaddy 1, Wilcox 1, Ross 1, Wroten