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Originally published November 30, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Page modified December 1, 2013 at 10:11 PM

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Huskies survive in double OT

Nothing has been easy for the Huskies this season.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Of course, double overtime.

What else would you expect from Washington during a tumultuous first month of the college men’s basketball season in which the Huskies have been tested like no other time during Lorenzo Romar’s 12-year tenure.

“We’re not playing good basketball now,” he admitted after a 92-89 double overtime victory over Long Beach State. “But I give our guys credit. We just kept scrapping tonight.”

Nothing has been easy for the Huskies this season.

They lost starting forward Jernard Jarreau to a season-ending knee injury in the opener. They’re without backup forward Desmond Simmons, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, for another three to four weeks.

Reserve guard Hikeem Stewart left the team last week, backup forward Shawn Kemp Jr. announced he’s battling a thyroid disease and Romar installed a new defense several days ago.

The Huskies (4-3) have suffered three double-digit defeats and even when they win, they’ve struggled to overcome their offensive mistakes and poor defense.

So who could blame them for thinking that just maybe Saturday afternoon might be a chance to pick up an easy win against a team with even bigger problems than Washington.

Long Beach State (1-7) carried a six-game losing streak into Alaska Airlines Arena, where the 49ers were 9½-point underdogs to the Huskies.

And yet, Washington was nearly pushed to the breaking point time and time again.

Shoddy defense once again plagued UW, which allowed LBSU to shoot 58.6 percent in the first half and 54.5 in the second.

The Huskies offset their porous defense with a balanced offensive attack led by Mike Anderson, who led six players in double-digit scoring. The junior-college transfer finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds, both season highs.

Andrew Andrews and Perris Blackwell added 18 points apiece, C.J. Wilcox 15, and Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson each had 10.

“Mike in there getting all those rebounds and second-chance points helped us a lot,” Wilcox said. “We knew we had to battle these guys and we did that for a game and then some.

“But it was pretty crazy out there.”

The Huskies trailed 72-66 with 3:48 remaining in regulation. Williams-Goss knotted the score at 78-78 with a free throw with 11 seconds left and Wilcox forced overtime after blocking Kris Gulley’s short jumper at the buzzer.

Washington looked as if it finally wrestled control of the game during a brilliant sequence late in the first overtime. Ahead 81-80, Anderson poked the ball away from Gulley in the post to begin a fast break that culminated with Andrews’ layup.

On the ensuing possession, Wilcox blocked a shot to start another break. This time, Andrews threw an alley-oop pass to Johnson, who flushed a dunk that put Washington up 85-80 and sent the announced crowd of 6,032 into a frenzy.

However, the good times were short lived.

The 49ers finished the first overtime with a 5-0 run that included Mike Caffey’s three-pointer and a layup with four seconds left.

It was that type of game for the Huskies. Whenever they had control, “then it went into overtime and then it went into overtime again,” Romar said.

Long Beach State took an early lead in the second overtime, then Blackwell put UW up for good 88-87 with a putback and a free throw. Wilcox added a three-pointer.

Shoddy free-throw shooting (2 for 4) in the final minute allowed the 49ers one last chance to tie, but Caffey’s shot was off the mark as time expired.

He finished with a game-high 28 points and forward Dan Jennings added 22 for Long Beach State.

The Huskies are off for a week before traveling to play at San Diego State (4-1) on Dec. 8.

“You always hear the cliché, you’ve got to take one game at a time. Well, with our team right now, that’s what we really have to do,” Romar said. “We kind of have to do it with smoke and mirrors until we get Desmond back and until other guys are more experienced and until as a group we understand what we’re trying to do.”

Note

• Wilcox’s first two three-pointers to moved him past Ryan Appleby (231) for the most in Washington history. He has 233 and needs 17 three-pointers to tie former Arizona State guard Eddie House for 10th place on the Pac-12 all-time list.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com.



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