Washington used a bombardment of 3-pointers and the best inside play senior Perris Blackwell exhibited this season to rout Idaho State 85-66 Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena. Idaho State cut what had been a double-digit deficit to 70-65 with 7:02 to play, but Washington went on a 15-1 spree to improve to 5-4.
The Huskies knocked down 10 of 21 3-point shots, including five by C.J. Wilcox and two by Andrew Andrews. Encountering a smallish Idaho State squad, Blackwell led the Huskies with 20 points, getting most of his total within two feet of the hoop.
Blackwell, who also had seven rebounds, led four Washington players in double figures. Wilcox had 19, Andrews 17 and Nigel Williams-Goss 13 and five assists.
Andrews made the two biggest plays, converting a four-point play (3-pointer, free throw) with 10:34 remaining in the first half that sparked a 13-2 Washington run, and scoring a put-back basket with seven minutes to play that ended a 7-0 Idaho State run and ignited the Huskies’ game-closing run.
“Andrew was dialed in,” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. “He was kind of the catalyst for our energy.”
Washington entered permitting an average of 84.1 points and allowed the Bengals to shoot 56 percent in the first half, but tightened its defense in the second half. Idaho State ended with a 46.2 shooting percentage. Washington was 55.2 percent from 2-point range and 47.6 from 3-point range. The Huskies also made 11 of 13 free throws and won the battle of the boards, 31-21.
“I was a little concerned with this (Idaho State) team and how we were going to handle them,” said Romar. “I was concerned about their zone, but we did a nice job attacking it. I have to compliment on our guys on their poise. I think we are getting better and we did a better job on the defensive end today. We are improving.”
“We were trying to take advantage of what they were giving us, the gaps in their zone,” said Blackwell, who had five offensive rebounds and made 9 of 11 shots. “I just wanted to play better than I did at San Diego State (3-for-9), and make sure that I finished my plays.”
The teams were even for the first 10 minutes. But Andrews’ four-point play sent the Huskies off on an 13-2 run for a 34-23 lead. They maintained the margin the rest of the way, leading 46-35 at intermission.
Washington drilled seven of its 10 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes and also exploited the size of Blackwell and Shawn Kemp Jr. Blackwell had 10 points after scoring six in Washington’s last game at San Diego State.
The Huskies would have had a far larger lead if they had been able to play effective one-on-one defense, especially on Idaho State’s dribble drives.
Tomas Sanchez, a Shorewood High graduate, scored 14 points and Jeffrey Solarin matched that total off the bench for Idaho State, which suited only nine players. Sanchez had four steals while Solarin had six rebounds and two assists. Sanchez, though, scored only four points in the second half as the injury-depleted Bengals ran out of gas.
NEXT: The Huskies travel to New Orleans for a Tuesday (5 p.m., PT) date with the Tulane Green Wave of Conference USA. The Huskies have never faced Tulane. Washington will host No. 9 Connecticut Sunday.