Balanced Washington holds off Pacific, 76-69
SEATTLE (AP) Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a simple goal for forward Shawn Kemp Jr. this senior season with the Huskies.
''Consistency is the thing we've talked with Shawn for three years. This is the most consistent he has been,'' said Romar, who watched Kemp score a team-high 18 points in leading the Huskies to a 76-69 victory over Pacific in the first game of the Marv Harshman Classic at Key Arena Sunday night.
Kemp made 7 of 11 from the floor and all four of his free throws. He has led the Huskies (3-0) in scoring for all three games this season and is averaging a team-high 15.7 points overall. The son of former NBA star Shawn Kemp Sr., averaged just 4.4 points a year ago.
Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews each added 17 points for the Huskies.
T.J. Wallace led the Tigers (2-2) with game-high 24 points and had 10 rebounds.
''He has been consistently bringing it since the first day of practice,'' Romar said of Kemp. ''He competes as hard as he can. He runs that floor every time. He's dialed in every practice. So there is consistency. In the past, maybe it was his injuries or his confidence wasn't there, he just wasn't as dialed in as he's been this year.''
Romar was concerned that his team showed so much inconsistency against the Tigers. The Huskies led 14-3 at the 14-minute mark then allowed the Tigers (2-2) to make it a tight game after that. The Tigers actually jumped ahead briefly, 16-14, midway through the first half.
''That was not our team out there tonight, except for the first six minutes,'' Romar said. ''It was almost as if we were bored with success at that point. As the game went on, we made mistakes there with more breakdowns.''
Opening the second half, the Huskies came out on a 15-7 run, stretching the lead to 51-36 with under 14 minutes left. The Tigers made just one basket in five attempts over the first six minutes of the half.
Again, that lead dissolved. The Tigers whittled it down to 66-59 on a fast-break layin by Dulani Robinson at 3:01. Sami Eleraky later followed with a tip-in with 1:40 left for a five-point deficit, 66-61.
Then Donaven Dorsey, who scored just seven points for the Huskies, followed with a critical three-pointer with 1:10 left and the Huskies rode that 69-62 lead to the victory.
''We didn't play the way we wanted to play,'' Williams-Goss said. ''We led early and they cut the lead down and from then on we played kind of sluggish. It's early. We need to shore up some things.''
UW now holds a 7-1 all-time advantage on Pacific, featuring seven straight victories.
The event is played in memory of Harshman, who won 635 games while coaching for three different Washington schools, including his final position at UW (1971-85).
The second game featured Seattle University (1-1) against Montana (0-2).
Washington: C. Robert Upshaw, who tied the school's single-game blocks record in each of his first two career games at UW, did not have a block against Pacific.
Pacific: The Tigers have one of the youngest rosters in the country, with just one senior, five freshman and six sophomores. Coach Ron Verlin not only has to mix in the youth but also players from five different countries, U.S., Brazil, Greece, Germany and Denmark.
Halfway through the first half, the teams were tied at 16-apiece. They each took quite different routes to get there. Washington jumped to a 7-0 lead, then 12-1 and 14-3. Pacific did not score a point until 3 1/2 minutes in and didn't score its first basket until 15:11. The Tigers then went on a 13-0 run for a 16-14 lead at 11:40. UW finally ended a three-minute scoring drought on a Shawn Kemp dunk at 10:54.
Washington faces off against San Jose State Thursday at John Wooden Classic.
Pacific goes against host Alaska-Anchorage Wednesday in the Great Alaska Shootout.