Bounce Back Game For UW
Maybe it was the heavily accented gentleman behind me that constantly yelled for the Cardinal to “GO HOME CARDINAL”, combined with his prehistoric “WAAAAAAAN” when the Stanford players took to the free throw line.
Maybe it was the sixteen minute, seven rebound effort put forth by UW gridiron star Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the team’s first two sport star since Nate Robinson wore the white/purple/black uniform in the early 2000’s.
No matter how you look at it, the Huskies needed to find inspiration for victory somewhere after dropping a three point home loss to Pac12 leader California on Thursday evening.
Let’s dive a little further in depth as to what propelled the Huskies to a 76-63 victory and a 5-2 Pac 12 record.
1. Mother Nature
After three snow slogged days in the Seattle area, which caused a number of traffic nightmares and kept people indoors, the 9,800 fans that crammed into the Alaska Airlines Arena, which was the Huskies biggest crowd of the season.
From my vantage point up in the cheap seats, it looked a though it would be a sparse crowd fifteen minutes before tip off, however the Hec Ed Pavilion quickly filled to the rafters with Husky diehards (minus the one lady in Stanford red and a misguided Cougars fan in a Washington State sweatshirt).
2. Let the kids play
That is exactly what Lorenzo Romar did, as freshmen sensation Tony Wroten and Seferian-Jenkins propelled the team to victory in their own special way.
Wroten, who has quickly stepped up for the injured C.J. Wilcox over the past three games, finished the night with 21 points on 9-14 shooting, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Seferian-Jenkinsblue collar effort on the glass helped the Huskies dominate the Pac12 rebound leading Cardinal 47-32.
3. Numbers game
The Huskies dominated the box score in all but two categories.
Out shooting the Cardinal 51%-36%, Washington made the most of their attempts from the field, with only Terrence Ross struggling to nail his shot (6-17), but managed to finish with 16 of his 18 points in the second half.
Nearly doubling the Cardinal in assists (13-7), the Huskies made sure to get each other involved, highlighted by a pair of crowd pleasing lobs from Wroten.
While Romar decided to shorten his bench, with only seven Huskies seeing floor time, Darnell Gant outscored the entire Cardinal reverses 17-11.
4. Laying out the lumber
As Wroten sliced and diced the Cardinal defense with drives to the basket, and fed teammates for highlight dunks, including one to kick start Ross’s second half scoring, the biggest highlight was one that came on an unfinished play.
Racing down court, Wroten got a step on his defender, Cardinal senior guard Jarrett Mann, and as Wroten crossed over half, Mann ended up with Darnell Gant‘s Huskies jersey tattooed on his face.
Following the bone crushing screen that left the 9,800 drop a collective “OOOHH” and a “THUD” as Mann hit the hardwood, Wroten took off from just inside the free throw line attempting to posterize Josh Owens.
Unfortunately for Wroten, the dunk attempt fell short and the officials whistled the freshman guard for a charging call.
5. Romar’s record
Falling short of claiming the milestone on Thursday night, the Huskies didn’t want to let their bench boss down for a second straight game.
On Saturday afternoon, Lorenzo Romar, who is currently the Pac 12’s longest serving coach, claimed his 300th career victory and his 100th conference win.
The former Huskies guard turned coach moved past former Huskies coach Tippy Dye for 19th spot in the Pac 12’s all time coaching list for wins.