Washington’s woes at Madison Square Garden continued Friday as the Huskies fell behind early, stayed there and sustained an 89-78 beating from the Boston College Eagles in the third-place game in the 2K Sports Classic. The Huskies (2-3) have played in a New York early-season tournament in each of the past three seasons and have yet to win a game.
UW senior C.J. Wilcox scored a career-high 30 points, drilling six of seven 3-pointers one night after going 2-for-10, but Washington was otherwise overmatched, especially after forward Perris Blackwell departed in the first half with two personal fouls. Wilcox’s previous high was 28 points against Colorado State Nov. 24, 2012.
“We did a good job of sticking together and we’re going to get it figured out,” said Wilcox. “I think we’re building something good, but it’s tough when you have to throw freshmen into this kind of environment early. But it will be a good learning experience for down the road.”
Without Blackwell, their best inside player, the Huskies were forced into an even smaller lineup whose inefficiency paled next to Boston College’s ability to drive for baskets and shoot the three. The Eagles made 11 3-pointers, including eight in the first half when they put the game away.
Washington made one major improvement from its tournament-opening loss to Indiana Thursday, when the Huskies were out-rebounded 47-27 and allowed 20 offensive rebounds. Friday, the Huskies lost the board battle 33-29, but matched Boston College in offensive rebounds.
“The rebounding thing, we’ve got to figure that out,” said Wilcox. “We’ve got to figure out who’s going to take on that role.”
The Huskies had counted on Jernard Jarreau, but he’s out for the season with an ACL tear, and Desmond Simmons won’t rejoin the club (knee injury) for a few weeks.
Once Boston College assumed a double-digit lead, early in the first half, the Huskies had trouble reducing the deficit to single digits. They finally did with 7:49 remaining (68-59), but the Eagles, led by Joe Rahon’s 22 points and 20 from Olivier Hanlan, quickly extended it.
Andrew Andrews, with 12, and Darin Johnson, with 11 off the bench, were the only shooters besides Wilcox to hit double figures. Freshman Nigel Williams-Goss, who left in the second half when he banged a knee, apparently not seriously, had six points, three rebounds and six assists.
NEXT: Washington returns to Alaska Airlines Arena Tuesday night to face Montana in a non-conference game. The Huskies also play Long Beach State Saturday at home.