Junior Mike Anderson scored 19 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and hit a key free throw with 15 second left in double overtime to lift the Washington Huskies to a 92-82 victory over Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies, who struggled throughout against the 1-6 49ers, improved to 4-3 and needed everything in their arsenal to win.
The Huskies led at the half 38-37, trailed much of the second half by six to eight points, but rallied to forge a 78-78 tie at the end of regulation. Washington took an 85-80 lead in the first overtime, but couldn’t hold it.
The Huskies took an 88-87 lead on a Perris Blackwell free throw with 2:43 to play in the second OT, increased their lead to 90-87 lead on a C.J. Wilcox jumper, and iced the game on free throws by Andrew Andrews and Anderson.
The Huskies have had to come from behind in all four of their victories this season.
Led by transfer Anderson, the Huskies had five players in double figures. Andrews and Blackwell both scored 18 points and Wilcox, averaging 23.0, added 15, but only five in the second half.
Wilcox hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game to break Ryan Appleby’s school record for most in a career with 232. But Wilcox was largely shut down after that and finished 5-for-17.
The two big advantages for the Huskies: they made 25 of 30 free throws to 7 of 16 for Long Beach State, and out-rebounded the 49ers 46-39.
“It was just one of those games,” said coach Lorenzo Romar. “We shot 38 percent (38.5), but somehow were able to come up with a win. The victory column for Long Beach State doesn’t reflect how good they are. I thought down the stretch our guys really sucked it up. Mike Anderson was really a monster for us. He just goes out, gets lost in the game and does his job. He he made big play after big play.”
Wilcox’s treys in the first four minutes provided an 8-6 lead. But Long Beach dominated the rest of the half, pulling ahead 32-26, before Washington rallied late for a one-point halftime advantage.
Long Beach State led most of the second half, but Nigel Williams-Goss hit a free throw that sent the game into overtime, where the Huskies had a chance to put it away after Darin Johnson had a put-back basket for an 85-80 UW lead. But Washington couldn’t hold it.
In the second OT, Wilcox hit a jumper from the baseline for a 90-87 lead. After Long Beach State’s Dan Jennings nailed two free throws to make it 90-89, Andrews snatched a loose ball, was fouled, a converted one of two foul shots. Anderson made another foul shot to clinch it.
The Huskies might have run away with it if Long Beach State guard Mike Caffey hadn’t gone off for 28, five rebounds and nine assists. Jennings added 22 points and six rebounds.
This was the first multi-overtime game for Washington since the Huskies lost to California in three overtimes Jan. 10, 2009.