Monday, March 19, 2012
Ross scores career high 32 as Huskies destroy Northwestern 76-55 in NIT sweet 16
Terrence Ross put on a performance for the ages scoring a career high 32 points making six three pointers as the Washington Huskies(23-10,14-4) advanced to the elite 8 of the NIT winning over the Northwestern Wildcats(19-14,8-10) 76-55. The Huskies finally played up to their abilities in blowing out the Wildcats. The Huskies offense started off slow in the first half but still led at halftime by seven points. In the second half the offense woke up as Ross and C.J. Wilcox combined to make 10-23 from three point range. The Huskies dominated the rebounding battle this game 42-24 against the undersized Wildcats and both their PG's Tony Wroten and Abdul Gaddy had seven assists in the game. The Pac-12 regular season champions showed why they should be playing in the NCAA tournament as they are a deep team who can beat you in so many different ways. The Huskies feature two high NBA talented players in Ross and Wroten. The Huskies also have good NBA prospects down the road in Aziz N'Diaye and Wilcox. For Lorenzo Romar to have his team still focused on the task that needs to be done speaks a lot about this team. The Huskies now have just one home game left then hopefully they'll make a return trip to New York City.
For the Huskies they shot poorly making only 13-37(35.1%) from the field, 5-21(23.8%) on three point range and were perfect on eight free throw attempts. The Huskies outrebounded the Wildcats 19-14 including 11-2 in offensive rebounds. They were led by Terrence Ross who scored 15 points on 4-10 shooting including three for seven on three pointers. He was perfect on four free throw attempts grabbing five rebounds. Aziz N'Diaye scored six points on three for six shooting with two rebounds. Tony Wroten had just two points on one for five shooting but provided five rebounds with four assists. C.J. Wilcox scored nine points on three for nine shooting with one three pointer and three rebounds. The Huskies would look to extend that lead in the second half hoping their shots would finally fall.
For the Huskies they shot 27-63(42.9%) from the field including 14-26(53.8%) from the field in the second half. The Huskies shot the three ball plenty making 11-32(34.4%) from beyond the arc and 11-14(78.6%) from the free throw line. They out rebounded the Wildcats 42-24 including 19-8 in offensive. They were led by Ross who scored 32 points on 10-21 shooting including 6-14 from three pointers while making all six of his free throws. Ross grabbed eight rebounds while having two steals and a block shot. C.J. Wilcox off the bench scored 20 points on 7-13 shooting while making four for nine on three pointers and made both free throws. Wilcox also had six rebounds including four offensive. Aziz N'Diaye scored 11 points on 5-11 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals. Abdul Gaddy scored five points on two for six shooting with a three pointer. He did fill up the stat sheet with four rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block shot. Tony Wroten only scored two points on one for five shooting but had eight rebounds. He also had seven assists with two blocks. Desmond Simmons scored four points making his only shot with two rebounds. Martin Bruenig brought down the house with two points on an athletic dunk. Darnell Gant was held scoreless missing all five of his shots but had four rebounds including three offensive. This was a big win for the Huskies who played one of their most complete games of the season.
For the first time in school history the Huskies are advancing to the elite 8 in the NIT. The Huskies will have one more home game left in the season and they will host one of their rivals the Oregon Ducks. The Huskies who did win the Pac-12 regular season championship are continuing their good play as of late. The Huskies are proving that the loss to Oregon State in the Pac-12 tournament was just a fluke. The Huskies can't control what the selection committee thought they didn't do all they can control is the games they are playing in the NIT. So far the Huskies are playing good basketball games which hopefully can translate into next season for the NCAA tournament.
For this season Wilcox is now averaging 14.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks. He is shooting 43.9% on field goals, 40.8% on three pointers and 83.5% on free throws. He is making 2.3 three pointers a game. Had Wilcox not missed those three games more importantly that California game the Huskies would be playing in the NCAA tournament. For Wilcox who will for sure be back next season this NIT experience is good for him to work on his game for next season.
For the year N'Diaye is averaging 8.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.1 blocks per game and 0.6 steals per game in 23.5 minutes per game. He is shooting 53.1% from the field. N'Diaye has played two seasons with the Huskies now mostly as a starter will have one more year left. His presence in the paint allows the Huskies to use more defensive looks because he is such a force in the middle. Now N'Diaye is starting to improve as a scorer as he has scored in double figures this year in 11 games out of 31. He has also grabbed double figures in rebounds in seven games as well. N'Diaye improvement for next year will be a big determining factor if the Huskies make the NCAA tournament next season or not.
For the season now Gant is averaging 7.1 PPG, 5.3 rebounds per game, 0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks. Gant is shooting 45.4% from the field while shooting 32.9% from three point range making 0.7 three pointers a game. Gant will now be playing in his final game at home this Tuesday against the Oregon Ducks as the Huskies have won 99 games in Gant's career.
For the year Wroten is averaging 16.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.9 steals and 0.4 blocks per game while shooting 45.2% from the field. In the NIT in two games Wroten is averaging only 5.5 PPG but 7.5 APG. He is also averaging 4.5 RPG. Look for Wroten to be more aggressive next game against the Oregon Ducks as he is averaging 15.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 4.5 APG this year as the teams split the season series.
All the Huskies have to do now is beat the Oregon Ducks at home something they have done two years in a row and 10 of the last 11 at home. The Huskies have dominated the Ducks in the Romar era but also dominated the Oregon State Beavers as well but that didn't stop them from losing to the Beavers in the Pac-12 tournament. Only one home game is left this season and both the Ducks and Huskies are proving they were more than capable of doing well in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies are playing well especially at home where they are 17-2 and with one more win they'll have a return trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Huskies are making the most of this NIT opportunity and are now one game away from going to the mecca of basketball. If Ross keeps playing the way he is playing the Huskies will keep winning and he'll be a very rich man next season.