In what has been undoubtedly one of the more disappointing seasons in the career of coach Lorenzo Romar, there is a bit vindication; a ray of sunshine shimmers with hope for the 2015-2016 season.
Although, the Huskies dropped a game to the Colorado Buffalos(64-47), they bounced back to beat the #13 Utah Utes, 77-68.
Against Colorado, the Huskies played yet another game shorthanded in the middle as Shawn Kemp Jr. was out. Additionally, freshman guard Donaven Dorsey, left the game early, leaving Romar’s squad with only 7 healthy players. As with previous Pac-12 games, the Buffalos pounded the paint and dominated the inside, on their way to an easy win.
Fortunes turned in the Senior Day game at Alaska Airlines Arena. An undersized and undermanned Husky lineup, put the pedal to the metal at halftime to out score the Utes 46-32 in the second half to beat the team that bullied them earlier in the year. This was one of the most impressive performances of the year.
This ends a tumultuous season that had started with so much promise. But, with most of the team returning next year and key players such as Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews performing so well down the stretch, there is hope for next year.
The Huskies play for pride as they head to Las Vegas as the #11 seed for the PAC-12 tournament. UW could get an automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament if they run the table; this however, is unlikely. But a strong showing in the PAC-12 tournament will allow for higher visibility in recruiting and a shot at the NIT Tournament.
Although outmuscled in both games, the Huskies benefited from a lot of hussle, refraining from being out rebounded by as wide of a margin as they had in the past. The Huskies out-rebounded the Utes: 28-23.
UW never said die in their last game of the season, against Utah. Down at halftime the Huskies persevered, winning the day on the shoulders of Nigel William Goss’ sharpshooting.
What didn’t work
- Senior Shawn Kemp Jr., did not get to play in the Senior Day game due to a calf injury. It would have been nice to see the son of the former Supersonics legend play (potentially) his last game.
- In both games, interior defense was in shambles. The loss of Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp Jr. this season has been a weakness exploited by each and every PAC-12 team these last 2 months.
- The Huskies gave up inside positioning allowing high percentage shots: 40 points in the paint to Colorado and 38 to Utah.
- Against Colorado, the Huskies shot an embarrassing 30% from the field.
SSU Players of the week
Andrew Andrews had 20 points and 6 rebounds against Colorado.
Nigel Williams-Goss had 28 points and 6 rebounds against Utah.
NOTE: The Huskies benefited from inspired play from senior guard Mike Anderson.
- 11 points and 7 rebound against Colorado.
- 15 points and 4 rebounds against Utah.
PAC-12 tournament. No. 6 STANFORD vs. No. 11 WASHINGTON, 8:40 p.m. PT, P12N