Sophomore guard Nigel Williams-Goss hit a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds remaining to lift Washington to a 68-65 victory over the UTEP Miners Sunday night, giving the Huskies the championship of the Wooden Legacy Classic in Anaheim. UW is 6-0 to start a season for the first time since 2006-07.
“Our guys came out early and set the tone and then UTEP took its turn in the second half. But our guys showed great resiliency down the stretch,” said coach Lorenzo Romar. “This is a great learning experience for us.”
Washington’s final six points came on free throws. Mike Anderson hit a pair with 48 seconds left and Andrew Andrews followed with two more with 24 seconds remaining before Williams iced it. Andrews also hit a key 3-pointer at the 3:18 mark that brought the Huskies back from a 61-57 deficit to within 61-60.
The Huskies, who had a 24-8 scoring edge off turnovers, fashioned a 13-point lead in the first half and a seven-point advantage at halftime, but withered in the first 12 minutes of the second half with big men Shawn Kemp Jr. and Robert Upshaw on the bench with foul problems.
The Miners took their first lead at 43-41 on a jam by Vince Hunter with 12:55 to play, but the Huskies fought back to lead 48-43 on a Donaven Dorsey 3-pointer at 9:57.
The Miners appeared to take control with slightly more than four minutes to go when freshman Omega Harris drained a three for a 61-57 lead. But Andrews buried his 3-pointer and the Huskies won it at the line.
Andrews, named to the All-Tournament team along with Williams-Goss, led the Huskies with 20 points. He made four 3-pointers. Williams-Goss added 16 points, six assists and two steals. Jernard Jarreau finished with 10 as Washington shot 42.9 percent overall, including 50 percent from 3-point range.
Upshaw, who finished with a tournament-record 15 blocked shots, scored six points.
Hunter scored 20 points for the Miners and added 13 rebounds. Julian Washburn contributed 17.
“We’ve had a little bit of success now,” said Romar. “Now we have to handle success. You can get complacent. But come Tuesday (Washington’s next practice), we are going to make sure we handle success the right way.”
Washington’s victory marks its first regular-season tournament win away from Seattle since the Great Alaska Shootout in November 2004.
The Huskies are idle until Sunday when they host San Diego State at Alaska Airlines Arena in a 6 p.m. PT tipoff. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.