Saturday, December 31, 2011

Huskies win Pac-12 opener 95-80 over Beavers

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies(7-5,1-0) defeated the Oregon State Beavers(10-3,0-1) 95-80 in their Pac-12 opener. The Huskies under Lorenzo Romar have made the NCAA tournament the last five times they have won their conference opener. The Huskies were led by freshman sensation Tony Wroten's 26 points as the Huskies finished the game on a 12-0 run to put away the Beavers. The Huskies bench outscored the Beavers bench 30-9 led by C.J. Wilcox who scored 15 points making his first appearance off the bench of the season. For the Huskies who had gone through a rough stretch losing four of five have now won two games in a row. They have also defeated the Beavers at home for the ninth straight year. Overall the Huskies have defeated the Beavers 9 out of 10 as they have had the Beavers number lately. Romar is 16-4 against the Beavers in his career as the Huskies have dominated this series.

Going forward the Huskies must play like they did today to maintain their streak of going to the NCAA tournament which is currently at three. The Huskies were off to a wonderful start in the first half as they controlled the game which is what they must doing going forward.

In the first half the Huskies led 50-39 over the Beavers. The Beavers shot 15-31(48.4%) from the field, two for six(33.3%) from three pointers and 7-12(58.3%) from free throws. They were led by Jared Cunningham who scored 13 points on 5-6 shooting including a three pointer. For the Huskies they shot rather well shooting 19-41(46.3%) from the field, 3-9(33.3%) from three pointers but made all nine free throw attempts. They were led by Tony Wroten who scored 12 points on five for seven shooting including a three pointer. Abdul Gaddy scored nine points on four for six shooting including a three pointer. Aziz N'Diaye in his second game back from injury scored six points on three for five shooting. Terrence Ross added six points on two for seven shooting. C.J. Wilcox coming off the bench shot bad making just one for eight but did score six points as he made all four free throws. Wilcox would show up in the second half as the Beavers would make a run but the Huskies would sustain that run.

The Huskies in the second half outscored the Beavers 45-41 in winning 95-80. The Beavers had closed the game to within 83-80 when Wilcox hit a huge floating jumper to extend the Huskies lead 85-80. With a little over two minutes left Wroten took on two Beavers defenders as he scored the layup plus got the and one to put the game away. The Huskies ended the game on a 12-0 run to win by 15 points. The Huskies held Cunningham to just two second half points as he finished with 15 points for the Beavers. For the Huskies they shot 37-72(51.4%) from the field, only 4-18(22.2%) from three pointers but did make 17-20(85.0%) from the free throw line.

The Huskies were led by Wroten who scored 26 points on 10-16 shooting including a three pointer. He also grabbed nine rebounds, four assists and had a steal. The Huskies as a team had six guys in double figures. The next leading scorer was C.J. Wilcox who scored 15 points on 4-13 shooting but made a three pointer and was perfect six for six from the free throw line. Abdul Gaddy scored 13 points on 6-10 shooting including a three pointer and six assists. Desmond Simmons provided 13 points off the bench with five for nine shooting including a three pointer while pulling down eight rebounds. Terrence Ross scored 10 points on 4-11 shooting with three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Aziz N'Diaye provided 10 points and seven rebounds on five for seven shooting. Darnell Gant scored only six points on three for six shooting with just two rebounds.

All in all, this was a good win for the Huskies over a much improved Beavers team. The Huskies needed to start conference play off hot after a rough non conference schedule. This was an important win for Romar as history shows when he wins the conference opener the Huskies are dancing in March while if they lose they aren't dancing. The Huskies are 1-0 in conference play and have 17 more games left in conference play to show if they are for real or aren't for real going forward.


Tony Wroten is starting to look like the Huskies best player with each and every game. Wroten led the team with 26 points and rebounds with nine. He also shot over 70% from free throws while only turning the ball over two times. Wroten took over the game down the stretch making the biggest bucket off the night to put the game away. Wroten is fast and talented while showing improvement on his at times sloppy play. Wroten is headed towards a Pac-12 freshman of the year award.

For the season Wroten is averaging 16.8 points per game, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 rebounds. He is also shooting 50.3% from the field with 1.7 steals per game. If he can cut down on his turnovers and start making his free throws he could be the most unstoppable player in this conference by a long shot. With the way Wroten has been playing the Huskies future for this season appears to be pretty bright.

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