Andrews, Williams-Goss lead Huskies to rivalry rout
Andrew Andrews scored 16 points in the UW's win over Washington State on Friday night and grabbed nine rebounds. He and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss combind for 33 points.
Andrew Andrews scored 16 points in the UW's win over Washington State on Friday night and grabbed nine rebounds. He and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss combind for 33 points.Photo by Joshua Bessex
Not many things about this season have gone as scripted for the Washington men’s basketball team. The end of it, however, is off to a pretty good start.
It may be too late for the Huskies to salvage an NCAA berth, save for a miraculous run in the Pac-12 tournament, but their 72-49 win over Washington State on Friday night makes things a little sweeter going into the final weeks of the season. The Huskies have won back-to-back games by more than 20 points now and have head coach Lorenzo Romar encouraged that they are playing their best at the end of the season.
“That’s what you would want,” Romar said. “If you could script it that way, you would want to be playing your best at the end of the year.”
The Huskies probably didn’t script a night when senior C.J. Wilcox scored only eight points, but they came away with a win Friday, thanks to a pair of underclassmen guards.
Freshman Nigel Williams-Goss and sophomore Andrew Andrews led the Huskies to a wire-to-wire victory over WSU, avenging their Feb. 1 loss to the Cougars in Pullman, Wash. The pair combined for 33 points and 21 rebounds. The freshman tallied his second straight double-double, leading the team with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Andrews is averaging 16.5 points per game in the past four contests after he only played five minutes against Stanford on Jan. 18.
“I think right now at this point of the season several guys are stepping up and playing at a higher level than they were at the beginning of the year,” Romar said. “Multiple guys are showing up on the same night.”
WSU guard DaVonté Lacy, a childhood friend of Andrews’, was dynamic for the Cougars, leading all scorers with 25 points, but got no help from his teammates as no one else sporting crimson got more than seven points. D.J. Shelton grabbed 15 rebounds and was WSU’s second-leading scorer, but missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts. The Huskies kept the Cougars to 31.1 percent shooting from the field and without a field goal in the final 13 minutes of the game.
Lacy cut the deficit to single digits at the 13:04 mark of the second half, but that was the last field goal of the night for the Cougars. Two minutes later, Williams-Goss stole momentum back for the Huskies for good, as he got a steal and took it down the court for a fastbreak, one-handed dunk.
Of the dunk, Andrews and Williams-Goss both laughed, saying that it was barely a dunk, but whatever it was, it was effective: It put the Huskies up by 11 and sent them on a 9-0 run that sealed the game.
The Huskies shot 51 percent for the game and held the Cougars to 4-of-23 shooting from beyond the arc. All four of WSU’s long-range buckets from Lacy, who was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Lacy’s teammates shot a combined 8-of-31 from the field.
“We knew DaVonté is one of their best players, as a matter of fact, their best player,” Andrews said. “When he gets going, the others will feed off him. We knew DaVonté was going to take his shots, and we were just really focusing on trying to limit the other players from getting going.”
Lacy hit clutch 3-pointers for the Cougars in Pullman on the first day of the month to give them their second conference win of the season. That game was the first of a three-game losing streak for the Huskies and something that motivated them for the rematch.
“We felt like that was kind of a turning point of the season,” Williams-Goss said.
The Huskies didn’t script that loss, but their win Friday went just according to plan. Whether the rest of the season will follow suit is something that will be decided in the coming weeks, starting Thursday when the Huskies host UCLA at 6 p.m.
Reach Sports Editor Thuc Nhi Nguyen at email@example.com. Twitter: @thucnhi21
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