NEW YORK — After Washington forward Perris Blackwell scored with 2:22 remaining on Thursday night, he made sure the referees knew he had been fouled.
“And one!” he screamed.
Blackwell made the ensuing free throw. By then, though, his effort and hustle weren’t enough to overcome the difficulties the Huskies faced against Indiana. They lost, 102-84, to the young-but-talented Hoosiers in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden – their sixth consecutive defeat in the famous building. UW (2-2) can snap the streak at 2 p.m. on Friday when it plays Boston College, which lost, 72-70, to 18th-ranked Connecticut in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader.
With 6-foot-10 Jernard Jarreau out for the season, and 6-foot-7 Desmond Simmons sidelined for a few more weeks, the Huskies played again with a small lineup. They faced an even more difficult challenge when 6-foot-9 starting forward Shawn Kemp, Jr. got into early foul trouble and never recovered. He didn’t attempt a field goal or free throw, grabbed one rebound and played nine minutes before fouling out.
Indiana took advantage of the size mismatch. The Hoosiers attacked UW’s 2-3 zone defense, choosing to drive to the basket instead of settling for outside jumpers. They led 50-37 at halftime, drawing 12 fouls and making 16 of 18 free throws. They had 27 rebounds and grabbed more offensive rebounds (15) than Washington’s total rebounds (11) in the first half.
For the game, Indiana had 50 rebounds and UW had 29. The Hoosiers made 31 of 36 free throws.
“Size helps, but we had a lot of guys – mainly the guards leaking out, kind of expecting Perris to get all of the rebounds,” UW guard C.J. Wilcox said. “We didn’t have five guys going to the glass every time, and they had everybody going every time. We
struggled blocking a lot of them out.”
Said UW coach Lorenzo Romar: “We were trying to run before we had the basketball. They were like Dobermans on the boards, crashing the boards like crazy. We didn’t have five guys together committed to going to get the rebound. That made all the difference in the world.”
Wilcox led the Huskies with a game-high 24 points, while Blackwell (14), Andrew Andrews (14), Nigel Williams-Goss (13) and Mike Anderson (11) were also in double figures. Anderson, a junior college transfer, came off the bench and made all three field goals and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line before fouling out with 4:58 remaining.
Freshman forward Troy Williams led Indiana with 22 points, while sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell had 20. Freshman Noah Vonleh added 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Of the 6-foot-10 forward’s seven made field goals, four were dunks. The others were a layup, a turnaround left-handed hook and a shot off the glass.
Vonleh is overshadowed in a talented freshman class that includes Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon. Vonleh, who turned 18, caught Romar’s attention.
“I think when it’s all said and done, he has a chance to be right up there with some of those guys,” Romar said. “He’s really talented. He’s just a pup. He’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
Romar hopes the Huskies follow a similar path this season. It starts with improving on the defensive end and with their rebounding.
“I think the main story of the whole game was they got a lot of second shots,” Blackwell said. “They hit us first, and we weren’t able to (recover). We made runs to come back, but every time we started coming back, they would get an offensive board and then they’d get a foul and an ‘and one’ and ran the score back up.”
INDIANA 102, UW 84
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Indiana freshman forward Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting and had eight rebounds. He is one of several talented underclassmen on a team that lost four starters from last season, when the Hoosiers advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: After UW cut its deficit to 66-56 with around 12 minutes remaining on a three-point play from freshman Nigel Williams-Goss, Indiana went on a 17-6 run in the next five minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME: Indiana had 50 rebounds, while UW had 29. In the first half, the Hoosiers had more offensive rebounds (15) than the Huskies had total rebounds (11).
QUOTABLE: “They were like Dobermans on the boards, crashing the boards like crazy. We didn’t have five guys together committed to going to get the rebound.” – UW coach Lorenzo Romar
WHAT IT MEANS: Indiana, ranked 22nd in the USA Today poll, is perhaps the best squad the Huskies will face until the Pac-12 Conference schedule begins. Romar was upset with UW’s rebounding, though, even with a shorthanded lineup.
NEXT UP: Boston College on Friday at 2 p.m. in New York (Madison Square Garden), ESPNU.Tim Casey, contributing writer