Washington used an 11-2 run in the first half and an 11-0 surge in the second to pull away from Cal Poly (4-7) for a 75-62 victory Thursday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies (7-4), who have just about completed their non-conference schedule, have won three in a row for the first time this season after a 4-4 start.
The Huskies simply had too much talent and depth and dominated the Mustangs, who made the contest competitive only briefly in the first half when they produced a 12-3 run to tie the game at 16. But Washington quickly re-asserted itself. The Huskies had an eight-point lead at halftime, extended that to 20 points midway through the second half, and played with at least a 13-point lead the rest of the way.
Washington also played its best game of the season defensively, forcing the Mustangs, who toppled nationally ranked UCLA Nov. 25, into 12 turnovers (Mustangs came in averaging 8.5) and into missing 13 of 21 3-pointers.
“I was very pleased with our performance from the opening tip,” said Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar. “We were dialed in from the beginning. I thought we did a great job of playing smart under pressure. I just thought our guys were in a good way tonight.”
C.J. Wilcox, who entered the game averaging 19.0 points, led four Washington players in double figures. Wilcox scored 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting from 2-point range and 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Scott Suggs added 12, Aziz N’Diaye 11 to go with nine rebounds and Abdul Gaddy, named a Bob Cousy Award nominee Thursday, 10.
Wilcox also had six rebounds, a career-high five assists, two steals and two blocks in 37 minutes in one of his best performances of the season.
“C.J did a lot,” said Romar. “The thing I liked was this was a very deliberate game with low possessions and C.J. maintained his patience. He still got all that accomplished, and that’s the mark of a very good player.”
Washington, which had 10 offensive rebounds to two for Cal Poly, made 51.1 percent of its shots and held the Mustangs to 44 percent.
The Huskies finally had a significant contribution from their reserves. Led by freshman Andrew Andrews, playing for the first time in two weeks (ankle), who scored eight points, UW received 18 bench points.
“I thought Andrew came in hobbling a little bit but made some big plays for us,” Romar added. “He played like a veteran even though he’s a freshman.”
Although the Huskies started the game with four quick turnovers, they also raced to an 11-2 lead after Suggs drained a 3-pointer. That’s when Cal Poly began its best run of the game that resulted in a 16-16 tie. Washington went on a 6-2 to end the first half with a 31-28 lead.
Gaddy hit a 3-pointer seconds into the second half to give Washington an 11-point advantage at 34-23, the Huskies’ largest lead to that point. From there, Washington steadily increased its lead, which reached 49-29 with slightly more than 10 minutes to play.
Cal Poly’s Chris Eversley finished with 23 points, 17 in the second half, on 8-for-15 shotmaking. Dylan Royer added 10.
Washington is idle until Saturday when the Huskies host Northern Illinois of the Mid-American Conferencem the final non-conference game at Alaska Airlines Arena. UW travels to Hartford, CT., Dec. 29 to face the UConn Huskies, and then opens Pac-12 play Jan. 5 at Washington State.