Nov. 28, 2012
SEATTLE - Now that's more like it.
C.J. Wilcox was slashing and swishing for 27 more points, one of his career high set Saturday. Abdul Gaddy responded from a subpar day to score 16 points, include a momentum-seizing 3-pointer that tied the game at halftime.
Gaddy smartly fed Aziz N'Diaye inside for 12 of the 7-footer's 14 points in the second half. And the Huskies looked far more like they've wanted to look all year at home while beating rugged Saint Louis 66-61 late Wednesday night at revived Alaska Airlines Arena.
Wilcox made 11 of 13 shots as energized Washington (3-3) made 14 of 22 shots after halftime to rally from six down. It had entered having lost two consecutive non-conference home games for the first time since December 2000.
After the Huskies were out-rebounded 45-21 in Saturday's 73-55 loss to Colorado State they owned a 32-30 edge Wednesday night.
Washington made 10 of its first 16 shots after halftime while focusing more on getting the ball to N'Diaye more in the low post. He responded by scoring 10 of his 12 points in the first dozen minutes after halftime, putting UW ahead 54-48.
After a Billikens turnover, Wilcox made his fourth 3-pointer in five tries to put the Huskies up 57-48. The Huskies' defense forced a Saint Louis shot-clock violation on the ensuing possession. Then redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews, making his first career start, fed N'Diaye inside for a thunderous, two-handed dunk.
The Huskies sprinted off the floor pumping their fists to their roaring crowd during the Billikens' subsequent time out. UW looked like the energized, free-flowing team its wanted to be all season for the first time at home all month, and the Dawgs never relinquished the big lead.
Saint Louis (3-3), which lost by 14 last week to Kansas, went 3 minutes without scoring late to keep Washington ahead by at least a half dozen until the final minute.
Saint Louis closed within 65-61 with 26.7 seconds left after Jernard Jarreau of UW missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw situation and Rob Loe of SLU scored inside. Andrew Andrews made one of two free throws for the Huskies, and Desmond Simmons made a great hustle play to track down the miss for a key offensive rebound.
The Huskies dribbled out the final 20 seconds after Simmons' rebound to end a rare, two-game losing streak at college basketball's winningest home count (923 wins and counting).
The Billikens have been without All-Atlantic-10 scoring guard Kwamain Mitchell so far this season. Mitchell had 18 points, four steals, three assists and no turnovers last November when Saint Louis beat visiting UW 77-64 in a game that wasn't that close.
The Billikens led by six with 7 minutes left in the first half - then did not score for more than 3 minutes. The Huskies didn't exactly seize on that opportunity, missing all three of their shots from the field and going 2 for 4 from the line in that stretch to stay down 23-20.
Even Lorenzo Romar's first technical foul of the season in the opening half, for arguing a over-and-back violation that officials did not call on Saint Louis, didn't get the Huskies fired up. They seemed to lack zest throughout much of the first 20 minutes.
But Gaddy gave UW its first jolt with a 3-point swish from the top of the deep arc just before the halftime buzzer that tied the game at 29. The senior co-captain sprinted from the floor through the team tunnel to lead the buoyed Dawgs into their locker room.
UW next hosts Cal State Fullerton Sunday at 4 p.m.
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