Joshua Smith made his homecoming felt. Smith led the Bruins with 22 points and helped UCLA push Washington to the brink. However a late 13 -0 run by the Huskies gave Washington just the cushion it needed to pull out the win at home. Washington improves to 8-2 in conference and 15-7 overall.
Terrence Ross carried Washington in the second half thanks to an impressive 7/8 output from the floor. On a night where Tony Wroten didn’t have it all going the Huskies turned to Ross and watch him take the game home. Wroten finished with a second best 13 points, but also had five turnovers to only two assists. The Huskies as a team committed 16 turnovers , three more than the Bruins. Wroten seemed to be bother for most of the night with a leg injury, one that noticeably limited his speed and explosiveness. However, Wroten was a spectacular 5-5 from the free throw line. Ross was all the offense Washington needed tonight as he finished tied with UCLA’s Smith with a game high of 22.
Lazeric Jones opened the second half with a three pointer and the Bruins turned that into four more finishing the game shooting 41 percent from deep. It seemed that the Bruins had the game in hands several times during the second half building leads of 54-47, 60-53, and 65-55. Each time the Huskies were able to respond back and get back into the game before it got out of reach.
The Bruins guards more than held their own thanks to impressive play by Tyler Lamb, Jones and Jerime Anderson. The three guards combined to score 25 points and dish out 12 assists on the night. In comparison Wroten and Abdul Gaddy combined for just 20 points and a disappointing seven assists.
If not for Ross’ 18 point performance in the second half the Huskies would have had no shot of winning this game. Thanks to Ross’ clutch performance Washington is atop the conference by half a game.
Washington will next face USC at home on Friday February 4th at 8:00 PM PST inside Alaskan Airlines Areana.