SEATTLE – While coach Lorenzo Romar may still have concerns about Washington’s defense, he’ll happily take a stat line featuring 55 percent shooting and 19 assists.
Especially against the different kind of zone defenses Idaho State used to try and confuse the Huskies on Saturday.
“What we have been guilty of a little bit early walking around, jogging around early trying to figure it all out and today I thought we attacked,” Romar said. “We weren’t really thinking we were going out playing basketball and getting into the places where we were supposed to be.”
C.J. Wilcox scored 14 of his 19 points in the first half, Perris Blackwell scored a season-high 20 points, and Washington finally pulled away from Idaho State in the final five minutes for an 85-66 win.
The Huskies had dropped three of five, including last Sunday’s setback at No. 25 San Diego State. But Washington started its final stretch of games before beginning Pac-12 play with a surprising challenge out of the Bengals from the Big Sky.
Washington (5-4) saw a 13-point lead trimmed to five with 7:04 left, but Andrew Andrews and Wilcox combined for nine straight points as the Huskies finally pulled away. UW shot a season-best 55 percent and the 19 assists matched a season high.
Idaho State missed its final eight shots after scoring 36 interior points in the first 30 minutes. Washington was concerned about the Bengals 3-point shooting that ranked 11th in the country at 43.7 percent entering the game. Idaho State went just 2 of 15 (15 percent) from deep, but the ease of baskets the Bengals got inside is an area still needing work for Washington.