The health of Washington guard C.J. Wilcox is tantamount to a state secret. "He's fine," "He has a stress fracture," "No he doesn't. He's fine," "He has a pre-stress condition," "There's no such thing." Whatever the true story, Wilcox had his best game in a long time in leading the Huskies to a 72-62 win over the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday night in Seattle.
With the win, Washington (14-12, 6-7) snapped a three game losing streak and moved into an eighth place tie with Stanford in the Pac-12 standings. Perhaps more importantly, they may have found a bit of the confidence that they have sought since starting the conference season with four straight wins. Oregon State (13-13, 3-10) was left looking down at only Washington State in a conference season that has gone sadly awry.
Wilcox (24 points on 7-14 shooting) was the big story but there were a number of little stories along the way. Reserve forward Jernard Jerreau had a career high eight points to go along with seven rebounds. Abdul Gaddy, after a somnolent first half, finished the night with nine assists and four rebounds. Reserve guard Andrew Andrews came off the bench to score 11 points and contributed a surprising six rebounds to go along with six assists. All in all it took a village, and the Huskies constructed a solid one on the way to the 10 point win.
Oregon State broke a long string of teams that came into Alaska Airlines Arena only to shoot the lights out of the joint. The Beavers managed only 33% shooting in going down to defeat. Craig Robinson's Beavers were led, as usual, by Roberto Nelson with 19 points. In the most telling stat of the night, though, Nelson was only three for 16 from the field.
Next week the Huskies take to the desert for Wednesday/Saturday games against Arizona and Arizona State respectively. Both teams can be had, but neither team is Oregon State. Lorenzo Romar will remind his troops of that as they prepare to fly south.