Resilient Huskies Beat Zaragoza In OT, 74-73
Aug. 29, 2012
The Huskies improved to 2-0 in their 16-day foreign tour, but needed a prayer to be answered to get that second win.
Abdul Gaddy took an inbound pass after a made free throw put the Huskies down 66-63 with two seconds remaining. He dribbled twice and launched a shot from about 10 feet behind half court that hit nothing but the bottom of the net.
"It looked good after it left my hand, so I thought it had a chance," said Gaddy, who scored a team-high 17 points.
He said the only time he hit a similar shot under the same circumstances came in high school at a Torrey Pines tournament.
Washington was fortunate to even be in position to send the game into overtime. Former UCLA player Michael Roll was fouled on the Husky end of the court after Aziz N'Diaye stuffed home an uncontested basket to make it a two point advantage for Zaragoza. Roll could have iced the game, but missed the first free throw before hitting the second, setting the scene for the wild finish in regulation.
The Huskies scored the first four points of overtime - an N'Diaye put back dunk and a C.J. Wilcox floater - before Zaragoza got on the board with a pair of free throws from Pedro Llompart, who had a game-high 18 points.
Andrews hit a jumper to give UW the 72-68 advantage, but Zaragoza answered back with two more free throws by Llompart, who finished 11-for-12 from the line overall. The Huskies turned the ball over for the 21st time on the ensuing possession and Roll put-back his own shot with 45 seconds left in the game to give Zaragoza the 73-72 lead.
The Huskies worked the ball around the perimeter on their next possession before finding a tightly-guarded Kemp down low, who popped his shot in over the defenders' extended arms. The basket was just the second of the night for the Husky sophomore.
Zaragoza had plenty of time to retake the lead, but missed a floater in the lane. They retained possession with 2 seconds remaining when the ball went out off the Huskies, but a contested shot by Chad Toppert hit short on the rim.
"I really like how our guys persevered," Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar said after the gritty win. "We got better after our first game and improved. That's what this is all about - making improvements.
"We've been pretty resilient in two games now."
Washington jumped out to an 11-8 lead after the first quarter when they held Zaragoza, a top-division Spanish pro team, without a field goal. But, free throws kept the host team close early, and in fact, late too. Zaragoza made 27-of-33 free throws, while the Huskies made only 3-of-13 from the line.
UW was up 15-12 in the second quarter when Toppert, who played collegiately at New Mexico, outscored the Huskies by himself 12-2 to put his team up 24-17.
Zaragoza took a 29-23 lead into halftime and scored first in the second half before the Huskies went on a 8-0 run of their own to knot the game back up at 31. The home team scored the next four points to go back up, before Andrew Andrews notched the next six points for the Dawgs, highlighted by a four-point play.
UW was up 45-42 heading into the fourth quarter before the pros from Zaragoza went on an 11-2 run to take the lead again. The Huskies came out of a timeout and went on a 9-4 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Desmond Simmons and Scott Suggs.
Xavi Hernandez would hit a 3-point basket with 3:26 remaining in regulation before the Huskies' defense clamped down. Hernandez' field goal was the last of regulation for Zaragoza.
"We played really good defense in spurts but still had some rough patches," said Gaddy. "We shored up on some turnovers, but we still had too many. We can improve on that.
"Overall, we have good chemistry out there and really enjoy playing with each other."
Andrews and Suggs were second in scoring among Huskies behind Gaddy, each tallying 13 points.
N'Diaye recorded a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. He also had two assists, a blocked shot and a steal on the night.
The Huskies controlled the glass for much of the game and outrebounded Zaragoza by a 49-29 margin.
Washington will pile in a bus tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. and make the six hour ride to Nice, France. They will remain there until Sunday, Sept. 2 and play two more games during their stop in Nice.