SEATTLE – At every time out in every Washington huddle, what Cal Poly was able to accomplish earlier in the season when they rallied from 18 points down to beat UCLA became a repetitive reminder for the Huskies.
Don’t let up. Don’t give them a chance to rally.
“We knew with our mindset that we had to be solid,” Washington’s Abdul Gaddy said.
C.J. Wilcox scored 21 points, and Washington used one of its best defensive efforts of the season to shake pesky Cal Poly 75-62 on Thursday night for the Huskies’ first three-game win streak of the season.
Scott Suggs added 12 points, and Aziz N’Diaye had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies, who play one more home game on Saturday against Northern Illinois before beginning a challenging four-game road swing beginning Dec. 29 at Connecticut.
But before the Huskies (7-4) get to Connecticut and eventually Pac-12 play, they need to shore up their own problems with inconsistency for stretches of the game. That happened in Thursday’s game.
“I thought our guys put together probably our best defensive effort of the season in terms of our concentration and focus and executing our defensive game plan. I thought our guys did a really good job,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said.
Chris Eversley led Cal Poly (4-6) with 23 points, but the Mustangs were unable to pull off the upset on a second Pac-12 school this season after stunning UCLA last month.
Washington pulled away, thanks to its defense holding the Mustangs scoreless for nearly 7 minutes of the second half. Eversley’s dunk with 16:41 left pulled the Mustangs within 38-29, but Cal Poly didn’t score again until Eversley’s free throw with 9:52 remaining. By the time Cal Poly scored again, the Huskies had built a 20-point lead on the strength of a three-point play from Suggs that started the scoring spurt.