But even at that, coach Lorenzo Romar’s tweak to his starting lineup seemed the biggest news of an otherwise routine rout of Long Beach State, 102-75, at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
There was a distinct rumble through the crowd as 7-foot junior college transfer Aziz N’Diaye was introduced for his first start of the season.
Or perhaps the rumble was over who he was starting in place of: senior Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who came into the game at Washington’s leading scorer and tied with N’Diaye for the rebounding lead.
It seemed a dramatic move to direct Bryan-Amaning’s attention to the defensive end – and a move that mimicked a similar midseason benching of Bryan-Amaning for 11 games last season.
However, any message being sent was delivered quickly. Less than four minutes after the opening tip, Bryan-Amaning was sent into the game.
But from the start, almost every combination had success as the Huskies (4-2) quickly ran away from the 49ers (3-4).
C.J. Wilcox made the most of his time off the bench with a career-high 20 points, including 6-of-8 on 3-pointers.
Six other Huskies scored in double-figures, including Bryan-Amaning, who had 14 points and five rebounds.
N’Diaye ended with one point and one rebound in a performance somewhat shortened by a trip to the locker room for stitches after splitting his lip on a dive to the court late in the first half.
Casper Ware led the 49ers with 18 points.
Washington will return to the court at 1 p.m. Saturday, when Texas Tech visits in the first of two UW games in this final season of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
2nd/3:19 Crowd heading to the exits, as Huskies have built lead to 92-64.
2nd/7:19 UW up, 82-59. Wilcox just drained his sixth 3-pointer in eight tries. And he has clicked over to a career-high 20 points. His previous high was 17 last week against Virginia.
2nd/13:12 UW up, 65-49. Wilcox now 5-of-7 on 3-pointers, with game-high 17 points.
2nd/16:00 UW, 55-38. N’Diaye back in.
2nd/19:20 N’Diaye is now on bench.
Second half: … has begun. MBA starting the half while N’Diaye remains in locker room with a split lip.
Halftime:UW up, 44-28.
Three Huskies in double figures: Thomas, 12; Wilcox 11 (including 3-of-5 on treys); and MBA 10. MBA and Thomas also lead with four rebounds each.
As a team, UW shooting 51.3 percent, Long Beach, 41.7 percent. UW has 20 rebounds to the Beach’s 12. Huskies ave seven fastbeaks points, 49ers none. Perhaps most tellingly: UW 10 assists and five turnovers; LBSU six assists and 12 turnovers.
However, just 11 seconds before the buzzer, Aziz N’Diaye whammed face-first into the floor while diving for a loose ball, and he was taken early into the locker room.
1st/2:14 UW up, 40-23. Largest lead of the night.
1st/4:20 Long Beach worked the lead back to single digits until a C.J. Wilcox trey just now upped it to 31-20, UW.
1st/11:48 No hint of a Maui hangover. UW up, 19-6, and seeming in utter control.
1st/14:51: Overton and Ross in.
1st/16:13UW up, 10-2. MBA and Wilcox come in for N’Diaye and Gant.
Tipoff: The game has begun.
On the bench, MBA looks engaged, not pouty.
Lineup: Transfer sophomore Aziz N’Daiye is about to make his first college start against Long Beach State. Coach Lorenzo Romar said yesterday that he might make a lineup change and that he wanted more rebounding. Putting two and two together, you get a 7-footer in the lineup. But the surprise is that N’Daiye goes in along with Gaddy, Thomas, Holiday and Gant, while Matthew Bryan-Amaning goes to the bench.
MBA is UW’s leading scorer (14.4) and is tied with N’Diaye for the rebounding lead (7 rpg).
Health updates: Venoy Overton (tailbone) in uniform. Scott Suggs (knee) not.
Pregame: The gates have opened at Hec Ed, where the 3-2 Huskies will try to bounce back from back-to-back losses at the Maui Invitational.
The perception is that they’re stepping down in class against 3-3 Long Beach State.
Tipoff is 8 p.m., and the game will be shown on FSN.
We’ll keep this blog post open for updates before, during and after the game. And of course your comments make it much more fun.