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January 11, 2012If Lorenzo Romar really believed this Seattle University Redhawks team was the "best 3-10 team in the nation," then he's probably now under the impression they are the best 3-11 team in the nation.
The Redhawks managed to turn Tuesday night's battle with the Washington Huskies into a sloppy one, and that helped them give Washington all it could handle before the Huskies eventually came out on top, 91-83, at Alaska Airlines Arena.
And sloppy is an understatement.
There were a total of 51 fouls. Seattle had five players foul out. Washington shot 59 free throws at an anemic 63 percent. Seattle shot 26 free throws at 62 percent.
Washington turned the ball over 16 times. Seattle committed 17.
"That's Dollar," Huskies guard Abdul Gaddy said about Seattle University coach, Cameron Dollar. "That's how he coaches. That's the type of player he was. We knew coming into the game that this we going to be a physical game."
Physical. There's really no other way to describe this game that lasted just over two-and-a-half hours.
The Redhawks pressed the whole game. They weren't afraid to commit a hard foul. They weren't even afraid to commit a flagrant foul when the game was tied at 70 with just fewer than seven minutes to play.
They never backed down to the big, bad Huskies.
Not when Washington jumped out to early 10-4 lead and it looked like this would be a blowout. Not when Washington started the second half on a quick run to increase the lead to 14. Not ever.
They just kept fighting back and kept backing the Huskies up.
Still though, the Redhawks never quite got over the hump to take the lead. Late in the game, they pulled within one on several different occasions and even tied it with 4:56 left, but Washington responded with a 6-1 run that put the Huskies ahead for good.
"Give Seattle U. a lot of credit," Romar said. "They had a great belief out there on the floor tonight, which is what you want your team to have."
The Huskies were led in scoring by C.J Wilcox, who knocked down four 3-pointers en route to a career-high 25 points.
Freshman Tony Wroten also chipped in 24 points thanks to 12-of-18 shooting from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and six assists.
However, the player who might have benefitted most from the physical play was 7-footer Aziz N'Diaye. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds, both season-highs.
Of course, the physical play didn't come without its downfalls, either.
Wroten landed hard on his tailbone after a strong drive to the basket and was forced to leave the game for a few minutes. Still, he put his chances of missing Sunday's game against Washington State at "negative seven."
"Wroten has a high threshold for pain," Romar said.
C.J. Wilcox also appeared to be limping after the game, but he said it was just a hip problem that has been around for a couple weeks and wasn't a big deal. Romar called it "tendinitis" in Wilcox's hip.
The Washington Huskies may have won this game, but in reality, they survived it.