Nov. 14, 1999
SEATTLE - The Washington men's basketball team is searching for replacements for a pair of prominent starters from last season's NCAA Tournament team. Two candidates surfaced Sunday during the Huskies' final exhibition game at Seattle Pacific's Brougham Pavilion.
Junior forward Will Perkins scored 22 points and junior guard Michael Johnson added 21, leading Washington to a 96-82 victory over the Mount Gambier Pioneers of the Australian professional league.
Perkins was impressive in his Husky debut on Thursday, contributing nine points and six rebounds as a reserve. He drew a starting assignment against Mount Gambier and responded with an 11-for-14 shooting performance from the field.
The 6-8 Omaha, Neb. native played the last two years at Iowa Western Community College before transferring to Washington.
A product of Seattle's Ballard High School, Johnson hit 9-of-12 shots from the field. He also distributed five assists.
"Will and Michael made some plays to get easy baskets for us," said seventh-year UW coach Bob Bender. "Those two and a few other players helped themselves today with their performances."
The Huskies seek to fill the void left by the departures of 7-foot center Todd MacCulloch and guard Donald Watts. Both players amassed over 1,000 points during their UW careers.
MacCulloch, currently playing with the Philadelphia 76ers, was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer who led the nation in field goal shooting three straight seasons. Watts was a two-year starter who will play with St. Louis of the new International Basketball League.
David Greer totaled 13 of his 18 points in the first half, helping the Pioneers build a 49-44 halftime advantage.
Johnson scored nine points during a 16-6 second-half opening surge. His dunk with 14:33 left in the game capped the run with Washington leading 60-55.
Keying the decisive stretch was a trapping, pressure defense implemented by the Huskies.
"The game was won and lost when Washington changed their defense," Mount Gambier coach John Burns explained. "They put a lot of pressure on us when they changed their defense and that changed the game. It took us out of our offense."
Former Santa Clara standout Jason Sedlock led the Pioneers with 22 points and Jermaine Brown had 21.
Mount Gambier concluded an 11-day, eight-game tour with a 3-5 record against Northwest colleges.
"Washington is as good as any of the teams that we've played. I would put them in the same category with Oregon and Weber State," said Burns whose team lost 98-87 to the Ducks on Friday. "Washington's perimeter players are very athletic and they do a good job of pushing it up the floor."
Five Huskies registered double-figure points, including Deon Luton with 14. Thalo Green and Chris Walcott tallied 13 points apiece.
Washington starts the regular season with six straight road games, beginning Monday, Nov. 22 at Saint Mary's.
"It was important today for us to win and gain some confidence," said Bender whose team lost 94-87 to the California All-Stars on Thursday.
"Thank goodness these were exhibition games because our intensity needs to get better. We're executing our offense better than we have in a long time, but all the execution in the world won't help you without intensity. We start our season with several games away from home and you can't have a lack of intensity on the road."
Washington Huskies 96, Mount Gambier Pioneers 82
Mount Gambier -- Brown 8-22 3-3 21, Green 6-11 6-10 18, Sedlock 8-13 5-6 22, Piercy 0-1 2-2 2, Anderson 3-8 0-0 7, Hawkes 1-5 0-0 2, Hampton 1-2 2-2 4, Smith 1-3 1-2 4, Joynes 1-2 0-0 2, Mobbs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-67 19-25 82.
Washington -- Perkins 11-14 0-0 22, Shelton 1-1 0-0 2, Carey 0-5 1-2 1, Luton 6-10 0-0 14, Johnson 9-12 1-2 21, Moritz 0-0 0-0 0, Clark 1-2 2-2 4, Duty 0-1 2-2 2, Leep 0-3 2-2 2, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Walcott 5-7 3-4 13, Coffee 0-1 0-0 0, Green 3-5 7-8 13, Dixon 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 37-62 18-22 96.
Halftime -- Mount Gambier 49, Washington 44. 3-Point goals -- Mount Gambier 5-16 (Brown 2-3, Sedlock 1-3, Smith 1-3, Anderson 1-6, Hawkes 0-1), Washington 4-15 (Luton 2-4, Johnson 2-4, Clark 0-1, Duty 0-1, coffee 0-1, Carey 0-2). Rebounds -- Mount Gambier 33 (Greer, Sedlock 8), Washington 31 (Walcott 8). Assists -- Mount Gambier 14 (Piercy 6), Washington 25 (Carey 8).