The question — can a largely inexperienced Washington team hang with Indiana? — was answered quickly Thursday as the Hoosiers raced to a 9-0 lead and, despite several Husky scoring spurts, went on to bury UW 102-84 in the semifinal round of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. Washington fell to 2-2.
The Huskies wrap up the tourney Friday with a 2 p.m. PT consolation date with Boston College on ESPNU (Comcast channel 400). UW has never faced the Eagles. Washington will return to Alaska Airlines Arena Tuesday night to face Montana.
After the 9-0 lead, senior guard C.J. Wilcox launched a comeback with a layup. The Huskies closed to 19-17 on a Mike Anderson jumper, but fell steadily behind the rest of the half. Washington’s Darin Johnson converted a runner at 1:52 to make it 44-36, but the Hoosiers, who outscored UW 17-6 on second-chance points, re-built the lead to 50-37 at the half.
Although Washington had a 9-0 run early in the second half, Indiana expanded its margin to a high of 22 points at 85-63 with 6:45 to play before the Huskies had another late spurt, closing to 90-79 with 3:42 left.
Wilcox, who entered with a 20.3 average, scored 24 points despite going 2-for-10 from 3-point range. Perris Blackwell and Andrew Andrews both added 14 and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss had 13 and four assists. Blackwell added 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and a steal.
The Hoosiers dominated the glass, 47-27, which provided numerous second-chance scoring opportunities. Indiana had 18 offensive rebounds, the Huskies unable to cope with the Hoosiers’ length and athleticism inside.
“We shot ourselves in the foot by not rebounding,” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. “Their ability to get second shots was our demise. We got behind early, sat back and let them dictate, and we weren’t able to overcome anything. That isn’t a good option for us. But we didn’t quit, that’s for sure.”
It also didn’t help the UW cause to lose Shawn Kemp Jr. and Anderson with five fouls each.
Troy Williams scored 22 for Indiana and Yogi Ferrell 20 as the Hoosiers shot 53.1 percent to Washington’s 44.1. The Huskies went only 5-for-16 from beyond the arc.
In the other semifinal, UConn, which will play Washington later this season at Alaska Airlines Arena, advanced to the championship game with a 72-70 win over Boston College.
“I was very impressed with what I saw out of Boston College,” said Romar. “They’re a load and we’ll have our hands full.”