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Huskies Basketball Win Season Opener, 91-74

BasketballWashington HuskiesGeorgia State PanthersCharityTerrence Ross

 

The Huskies finished with four players in double figures, led by C.J. Wilcox's 22 points, in a 91-74 victory over Georgia State on Saturday in the World Vision Classic.

Darnell Gant (18 points), Tony Wroten (18 points) and Terrence Ross (11 points) reached double figures for Washington.

Rashaad Richardson led Georgia State with 21. Brandon McGee added 17.

Wilcox, a redshirt sophomore, opened the second half with two 3-pointers in Washington's first four possessions. His second swelled the lead to 54-36.

After spending last season as a 3-point specialist, Wilcox has been able to expand his game. He contributed six rebounds in addition to going 8-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.

"If he's open, he's going to make it," Washington point guard Abdul Gaddy said. "Sometimes I feel like if I pass it to him, you can't look at the rim; you have to get back on defense. That's how good a shooter he is. Teams will be digging themselves into a hole if they leave him open."

Washington took control in the second half after leading 43-33 at halftime. The lead reached 20 at 61-41 when Aziz N'Diaye scored in the post with a hook off the glass. The gap later stretched to 26 points.

"I think (coach Lorenzo Romar) has a better team this year than he had last year," Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said. "This team's way better. He's got a really good basketball team. This easily could have been a 30- or 35-point game. But our guys kept fighting."

Wroten, a freshman guard, finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

"Last week was kind of a game to get all the jitters out," Wroten said of an exhibition against Seattle Pacific. "Even though this was a real game that counted, I was just more relaxed and focused and more ready for the game."

Georgia State was not intimidated at the start.

After trailing 8-2 early, the Panthers rallied behind Richardson. He made five of his six 3-point attempts in the first half to finish with 15 points at the break.

Richardson tied the score at 23 after making 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, forcing a Washington timeout.

Wilcox answered with a 3-pointer out of the timeout. He led Washington with 12 points in the first half. Gant added 10 first-half points for Washington with a perfect 4-for-4 start. He scored the first five points of the game.

The Huskies extended their lead by using a smaller lineup with Gant at center and four guards.

They went up 38-28 with 2:19 left in the half after a layup from Wroten, their first double-digit lead. Wroten closed the half with another layup after going behind his back and getting to his preferred left hand for a 43-33 edge.

N'Diaye started and played 19 minutes a week after missing several practices and the exhibition game because of a concussion. He had five blocks and eight rebounds.

Washington announced after the game that 6-foot-10 freshman Jernard Jarreau would redshirt this season. Jarreau said he would work on his all-around game and continue to add weight. He has gained 13 pounds since arriving on campus.

Washington plays Florida Atlantic on Sunday on the second day of the three-day tournament. Georgia State will face Portland.

 

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