NEW ORLEANS – Traveling to New Orleans may have been a slight vacation for the Washington basketball team, but once the Huskies stepped on the Devlin Fieldhouse court at Tulane, it was all business for a team amid a bumpy nonconference schedule.
Washington (6-4) capped off a weekend of gumbo and jambalaya at sophomore forward Jenard Jarreau’s New Orleans home with a 73-62 win against Tulane Tuesday night.
“It was a little bit of a getaway without getting away,” said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar. “This was not a trip of leisure, it was a business trip. But at the same time, we were able to kind of forget about it temporarily and then refocus.”
It took all of 50 seconds for Washington to garner a lead against the Green Wave (5-6) when junior guard Mike Anderson drained a three-pointer. The Huskies never trailed after that and, even when the scoreboard showed a close contest, Washington appeared to be in complete control.
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No Husky had a better night than senior guard C.J. Wilcox, who became the 11th player in program history to surpass 1,500 career points.
The final point may not have been the most spectacular event — coming at the free-throw line following a tripping call in the waning minutes of the game — but Wilcox said this milestone is something he never even imagined when he first came to Washington.
“It’s just another stepping stone,” Wilcox said. “I try not to pay attention to that kind of stuff too much. As long as we’re winning — that’s what’s more important to me this year. But, hitting milestones like that is pretty cool.”
Wilcox — who said he didn’t even realize he broke the barrier until after the game — finished the night with a team-leading 15 points, putting him at 1,502 for his career and just two points shy of Louis Nelson, the No. 10 all-time Husky scorer.
“Whenever C.J. accomplishes things, I just think of this little skinny guy from Pleasant Grove (Utah) that decided to come to Washington and no one knew who he was,” Romar said, “and now he’s going to be one of the top 10 scorers in the history of this program.”
Anderson, forward Perris Blackwell and guard Nigel Williams-Goss also posted double-digit efforts Tuesday night with 10, 12 and 12 points, respectively.
But Romar said Tuesday night wasn’t nearly as clean as he’d like in regards to a turnover battle that allowed Tulane to stay within arm’s length of Washington for a large portion of the night.
Washington turned the ball over 18 times against the Green Wave — seven of which stemmed from Williams-Goss.
“We were just sloppy,” Romar said. “It’s unlike Nigel to have seven (turnovers). Most of them were unfortunate. It just seemed like we couldn’t hang on to the ball early.”
Some of Romar’s aggravation with the turnovers may be attributed to his early concern with his team’s NCAA tournament résumé.
Wilcox said before the team left Seattle, Romar gave a speech about making people remember wins and forget about loses.
“(Romar said), ‘It’s not just who you play, but when you play and how you beat them,’ ” Wilcox said. “Obviously we needed to get this win and make people forget about the Irvine game.”