UW Huskies Insider

Huskies beat OSU, 95-80, in Pac-12 opener

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Dec. 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm with No Comments »
December 29, 2011 9:29 pm
Small crowd as national anthem is sung before conference opener.

It’s final. UW goes 1-0 in conference race with 95-80 win over Oregon State. The Oregon Ducks — also a winner tonight — visit Saturday.

Tony Wroten leads UW with 26 points. However, five other Huskies in double figures: Gaddy, N’Diaye, Wilcox, Simmons and Ross.

Joe Burton leads OSU with 18 points. Jared Cunningham, who had 13 points at halftime, ends with 15.

Here’s some of what both sides had to say afterward:

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
Opening comments:

They are a dangerous offensive team, Oregon State. There is nobody that they put on the court that can’t do something offensively. Burton, we had him as a guy that we planned to go single coverage because he’s such a good passer. He showed that he had offense tonight. So I commend our guys because we were able to come out and persevere here. Desmond Simmons I thought had a great game, brought us energy off the bench. Two statistics that glare out are that that team forces so many turnovers, and we only committed 9. Also our ability to make free throws, we were 17-20. Those two areas really make a difference in the game. We turn the ball over a few more times or miss half of those foul shots; maybe it’s a different game. Tony Wroten was very good. He rebounded the ball, he scored the ball, and he took care of the ball. He did a nice job for us.

Was this Tony Wroten’s Smartest Game?
I don’t think there’s any question, sometimes how that happens as you get older. It’s not like he’s 22 all of a sudden, but he has 11 games under his belt. The really talented ones learn to figure it out. This is a different type of game, it’s more wide open. Oregon will probably be a slower pace, but I thought it really showed that he’s made substantial improvements as far as impacts already.

On the defensive stops the last 3 minutes
Some of that we went zone, I think at the 2:12 mark is when we went to zone. I think that helped take time off the clock and forced them to take perimeter shots. For a while there it was difficult for us to get stops. I thought the zone helped us down the stretch.

On their runs in the second half
They’re so explosive, you can’t hold that team down for too long it doesn’t seem like. Sooner or later there’s going to be a leak somewhere, and tonight the leak was with Brandt and Burton. I thought we did a good job on Cunningham and Starks but they have so many weapons it’s hard to contain all of them. During that stretch they kind of got loose on us and we didn’t do a good enough job defensively.

Abdul Gaddy
On their 1-0 start in the Pac-12

We’re just trying to take it one game at a time. We think we can do really well in our conference; we just have to be able to guard and keep getting better.

On getting to the free throw line more
Coach has been talking to us about getting to the free throw line more. [Tony Wroten] does it really well. He’s just talking to all of us, me, C.J. [Wilcox], Terrence [Ross], we just need to get to the free throw line more and be more aggressive.

C.J. Wilcox
On their defensive performance tonight

That’s a big focus that we’ve had the past couple of weeks, the defensive end. If we don’t perform on the defensive end, we won’t get wins. That’s our main focus and we came out and did the right thing tonight.

On coming off the bench while N’Diaye returned to starting lineup
I think it’s a chemistry thing, especially when we have a matchup with [a team like] Oregon State. They came out and they started big so it was good to have Aziz [N’Diaye] down there protecting the paint. The guards could get open and get the game going up and down more.

Desmond Simmons
On clips of the Alamo Bowl being played on timeouts during the game
It got really loud one time. I don’t know what they showed on the jumbotron but it got really loud and hard to hear.

On shooting the ball with more confidence
I’ve been working on my shot a lot over the past year, and just shooting with confidence, like you said. My teammates give me confidence when they pass me the ball and say ‘Shoot if you’re open’ so that helps.

Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson
Opening Statement

Well that is a good team, and it was a good experience for our guys to play a team that has been to the tournament the last two years on their home court. They played a great game. They got to the basket whenever they wanted to, and they are probably the first team to do that to us on a consistent basis. To our guys defense we got off to our first bad start, and then I thought that we played them pretty evenly the whole game. We had every reason to close shop and move on, but these guys have no quit in them and I was happy about that.

OSU’s ability to take a punch.
We took a pretty good one, and we came back, but not quite enough to come back. When we cut the lead to three I thought we were a couple of hustle plays away from making them nervous, but then they made a couple of really good plays and that opened it up again.

What may have led to the slow start?
This was a big game for us. This was our first big test on the road against the championship team. That is a lot of pressure on these guys, but we have got to get used to it. We talked about it back at our place that we are in unchartered waters, well today we were out in the deep end and it showed in the first five or six minutes. We have 17 more games to go so I am not too bummed out. I like how my team came back on these guys.

On Tony Wroten
He is darn good. That is why everyone had him being one and done. He is strong and he has a good way about him even though he is young. He has a mature way about him. He is going to be good in this league.

What you want you can take from this game?
I can tell you that our offense did not hurt us after the first five or six minutes. We scored from a lot of different areas, but we have to be able to get stops against a team like this.

2nd/5:21: Beavers chip, chip, chipping away. UW, 80-74, and a displeased Romar takes time out.

Second half: … has tipped off. And actually, I should note that the Hec Ed crowd has filled in pretty well. It must have been the 6 o’clock start as much as the football game that made this a ghost town at tipoff.

Halftime: Huskies 50, Oregon State 39. Wroten leads UW with 12. Cunningham 13 for Beavers. UW shooting 47.5 percent, OSU 48.4. UW 19 rebounds, OSU 17. UW eight assists and four turnovers; OSU eight assists and nine turnovers.

1st/7:55 UW, 33-18. Wroten 10 for the Dawgs. Cunningham 11 for the Beavers. Seven Huskies have scored. UW shooting .520, OSU .368.

1st/15:25 Dawgs off to fast start in hoops opener: 10-2. Wilcox came off bench for Wroten after three minutes.

Tipoff: The Huskies’ Pac-12 season has begun. UW in white, Beavers in black.

Crowd: At national anthem, the smallest I can recall. Fair crowd up by the roof. Mostly vacant in the season-ticket sections. Dawg Pack just fumes… three or four dozen by quick count.

Lineup: Aziz N’Diaye gets the start for the Huskies, along with Gaddy, Wroten, Ross and Gant. Wilcox apparently in sixth-man role.


Hour before tip: In an early indicator of purple-tinted priorities tonight, there are exactly six fans sitting in the Dawg Pack section. On the other hand, that twice the number of fans in OSU orange that I’ve spotted so far.

Pregame: A couple of Beavers are out warming up about 90 minutes till tip. They’re wearing black with orange trim. No Huskies out yet.

Gameday: No doubt the eyes of most UW fans will be on San Antonio tonight, where the Huskies will meet Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. However, there is a pretty important basketball game scheduled at 6 p.m., as Coach Lorenzo Romar’s men’s basketball team will begin Pac-12 play against what seems to be some much-improved Oregon State Beavers.

The game will be shown on Root.

We’ll keep this post open all evening with updates from Hec Ed.

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