Willliams-Goss, Huskies beat E. Washington 92-80

Willliams-Goss, Huskies beat E. Washington 92-80

Willliams-Goss, Huskies beat E. Washington 92-80

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 1:15 AM

SEATTLE -- After Eastern Washington controlled the entire first half, Washington knew it had to change things up after halftime.

Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar went small, putting out a five-guard lineup at times in the second half, and told them to keep attacking the rim. The move worked, as Washington turned a 12-point deficit early in the second half into a 92-80 win Sunday.

The biggest spark came from freshman guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who scored 22 points and sparked a key run to give the Huskies the lead for good in the second half.

"He just had a determined look about him tonight," Romar said. "He was efficient with the basketball, constantly chattering, lifting guys up."

Williams-Goss -- who had scored 19 points combined in his first two games as a Husky -- was the highlight of an attack which wore down Eastern Washington. Washington (2-1) made 31 of 34 free throws in the game as several Eagles ended up in foul trouble, compared to an 11 of 23 showing from the stripe for EWU.

"It just seemed like as the game went on, those lanes became more open," Williams-Goss said. "Coach Romar preaches attack, attack, attack, offensively and defensively, and I think we've bought into the team mindset that we're going to put pressure on the defense for 40 minutes."

Eastern Washington (1-1) jumped out to an early double-digit lead, controlled the first half and led for most of the game, but Washington overpowered the Eagles in the second half.

EWU led 55-43 with 17 1/2 minutes left in the game. It would prove to be their largest lead and Washington steadily chipped away -- primarily at the free throw line. The Huskies scored 12 straight points -- Eastern Washington twice missed the front end of a one-and-and during the run -- to pull ahead. Williams-Goss scored seven of the 12 points, including a three-point play to give Washington a 75-70 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left.

"We ran out of gas," Eastern Washington coach Jim Hayford said. "Coach Romar said, `We're going to go with five guards and get into them.' That dialed up the pressure and we didn't have an answer."

Perris Blackwell scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and C.J. Wilcox added 15 points and eight boards for Washington, which was coming off Thursday's 86-72 loss at home to UC Irvine.

Early on, it looked like the Huskies were in danger of dropping two straight as the first half belonged to the Eagles, specifically sophomore guard Tyler Harvey, who scored 20 of his career-high 28 points in the first half. Harvey shot 7 for 13 on 3-pointers and 10 of 22 from the field.

"We knew he was going to come in trying to score and shooting a lot," Wilcox said. "We were ready for that part -- I don't know about the makes."

EWU built a double-digit lead early, going on a 13-2 run to take an 18-8 lead about six minutes into the game and held off several UW runs. With about four minutes to play in the first half, Eastern Washington extended the lead to 11 on a four-point play by Harvey followed by Thomas Reuter's 3-pointer, and the Eagles held a 48-39 edge at halftime.

In the second half the Huskies keyed on Harvey, keeping him scoreless for the first 10 minutes after halftime, as Washington mounted their comeback.

When the Eagles were leading, they often seemed to control the lane on both ends and looked like the stronger team. In the second half, the move to a small lineup allowed Washington to key on driving inside and Eastern Washington couldn't keep up.

"When they were in foul trouble and we were small, we just instructed our guys to put their heads down and go to the basket," Romar said. "With the rules the way they are, it puts you in a tough spot defensively if you do get in foul trouble."

Eastern Washington's Martin Seiferth fouled out on Williams-Goss' three-point play as Washington took the lead, Reuter fouled out late in the game and two other Eagles finished with four fouls each.

"We got them in foul trouble early, we knew that, and we just tried to get them to the line as much as possible," Wilcox said.

The Huskies, who started the season with three home games, now face their first road test as Washington will play Indiana in New York's Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

"I know Eastern is a little different team than Indiana," Romar said. "But it's something hopefully we can build on."

 

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