IT’S OVER — UW 67-57. Wilcox finishes with 22 points. N’Diaye gets 13 points and 12 rebounds. Gaddy has 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
SIMMONS — Simmons kept a rebound alive and tipped it to Gaddy. NIU fouled him. Gaddy hit both. UW 65-57, 56.2 seconds.
GETTING CLOSER — UW 63-57, 1:41.
BAD FINISH — Just when Washington looked as if it was cruising to an easy win, it’s 14-point lead is down to eight (60-52) with 3:41 left. Suddenly the NIU bench is into it and it believes it can steal this game. Meanwhile, Romar is wearing a perplexed look of disappointment. He thought UW was past these types of letdowns.
FOUL TROUBLE — Kevin Gray has fouled out. His twin brother Keith and Bolin have three fouls. UW 58-46, 7:11.
NEED FINISHERS — Washington doesn’t have very many players who can produce points in transition or finish off fastbreaks in traffic. There’s just not many high-fliers on this team. Simmons is a two-foot jumper. Kemp just isn’t there yet. N’Diaye has difficulty converting with bodies around him. Same with Gaddy. UW 56-44, 7:38.
THANK YOU SEATTLE U — NIU is pressing UW with a two players in the backcourt. Washington faced a lot of press against Seattle University and it doesn’t look rattled. In fact, it’s attacking the press and getting points. Suggs found N’Diaye for a monster dunk. UW 54-44, 8:42.
NOT GOING AWAY — NIU is hanging around, which could be dangerous for Washington. Nader is keeping NIU in this. He has 15 points. Wilcox is out of the game. It’s up to Gaddy, Suggs and N’Diaye to provide the scoring until he returns. UW 52-42, 9:46.
DOUBLE DOUBLE — N’Diaye has 10 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double double. Wilcox has closing in on 20 points. He has 18. No other UW player has double-digit points. UW 52-37, 11:40.
HAMMER TIME? — Washington could put the nails in NIU’s coffin. It feels like a dangerous time for the red-clad Huskies. UW is getting better looks on the offensive end. Gaddy scored on a reverse layup and Andrews drained a trey. This was the time Washington put the screws in Cal Poly on Thursday. UW 45-32, 16:21.
SECOND HALF — Same starters for UW. Nader starts for NIU.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Washington is shooting 33.3 percent (10 of 33) from the field, but it’s controlled the game. It built a 14-point lead. Northern Illinois chipped away and pulled within six points before UW scored five unanswered points.
Washington leads 21-13 on rebounds and it is 11 of 12 on free throws while NIU is 2 of 5.
Wilcox leads all scorers with 10 points. N’Diaye has eight points and seven rebounds. Suggs has seven points. He’s also done a nice job containing Nader who has five points on 2-for-5 shooting.
Gaddy has responded well since being benched in the early minutes. He has four assists and just that one turnover that resulted in a quick hook. He also has three points.
Washington isn’t receiving much help from its bench which is 0 for 8 and four points.
HALFTIME STATS — Click here.
HALFTIME — UW 36-25.
NICE DEFENSE — NIU snapped a four-plus minute scoring drought. It last scored at 11:38 before Springs made a layup. UW 23-14, 7:09.
MORE ENERGY — Not sure what was said during the timeout, but UW has more energy than any other time in this game. NIU committed a turnover and Wilcox blocked a shot on the next two possessions. UW 17-12, 10:10.
SCARY MOMENT — N’Diaye took out two rows of fans sitting courtside beneath the basket when he dove out of bounds for a loose ball. He didn’t retrieve the ball and flew head first into the spectators. No one was injured. UW 15-12, 11:11.
MOUSE IN THE HOUSE — NIU has 6-1 J.J. Cravatta on the floor with 5-10 Baker. UW is trying to post Suggs on Cravatta. UW 15-10, 12:19.
SECOND SUB — Shawn Kemp Jr. replaces N’Diaye, who rejected a shot from Nader. Nader has a 20-pound advantage over Suggs and he’s tried to back him down on the last two possessions. He scored a layup and had a shot blocked. UW 10-8, 13:56.
FIRST SUB — Andrew Andrews is in for Gaddy. Coach Lorenzo Romar is probably sending his senior co-captain a message. UW 10-6, 15:44.
HOCKEY SHIFT — NIU benched four starters. It probably couldn’t hurt since it started 2-8. The four benched starters (G Travon Baker, F Sam Mader, G Abdel Nader and F Keith Gray) are entering the game when play resumes. Nice start for UW, which made 4 of 6 shots. The only major miscue has been Gaddy’s silly turnover. UW 9-6, 15:57.
STARTING LINEUPS — UW: No change. G Abdul Gaddy, G C.J. Wilcox, G Scott Suggs, F Desmond Simmons and C Aziz N’Diaye.
NIU: G Daveon Balls, G Akeem Springs, G Darrell Bowie, F Kevin Gray and G Askel Bolin.
NO NEED FOR A REPLAY — After Keith Price’s interception in UW’s 28-26 defeat in the Las Vegas, video operators quickly turned off the football action. You could several moans from the sparse crowd.
FOCUSED — Despite the football game on the giant TV above their heads, the Huskies haven’t taken many peeks at the score while going through warm-ups.
NICE VIEW — Never really appreciated the new big screen at Alaska Airlines Arena until today. Watching the Las Vegas is an amazing experience. Let’s just say it beats my TV at home. There were a smattering of cheers from few hundred fans in the stands when the Huskies took a 26-25 lead.