The 16th-ranked Huskies did what they had to do during a convincing 86-38 win against overmatched Grambling State on Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Washington improved to 9-0.
Here’s a few thoughts.
Sons of Sonics really like Grambling State: On Monday, Oregon State guard Gary Payton II notched a triple double against Grambling State, which was the second in OSU history. His father did it first in 1988. On Wednesday Shawn Kemp Jr. pummeled the Tigers with a career-high 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He had five dunks. He also had four rebounds in 25 minutes. It was phenomenal bounce-back game for Kemp who had been struggling in three of the previous four games. He started the season with a bang while averaging 14.5 points after four games. But then he went into a two-game tailspin when he totaled four points. In his last outing, Kemp had three points in 23 minutes. Not sure if Kemp’s dad ever played Grambling State.
Move over Aziz and Will: It took Robert Upshaw just nine games to crack into the top 10 for the most blocks during a season at Washington. He has 43, which ranks eighth in school history ahead of Aziz N’Diaye, who had 41 in 2012-13. N’Diaye (2010-11) is also tied for 10th on the list with Will Perkins (1999-00) at 39. Once again Upshaw dominated defensively. He finished with four blocks, but it could have been many more if the Tigers players challenged him a little more often. During one possession, a Grambling State player lofted a floater that sailed over the glass because Upshaw was near and looking for a block. He also collected a personal best 15 rebounds to go along 15 points. Upshaw converted 6 of 7 shots, including four dunks.
Andrews finds his shooting touch: Andrew Andrews is riding a five-game streak in which he’s drained at least two three-pointers. He was 4 of 8 behind the arc Wednesday and finished with 16 points. The Huskies were 6 of 24. Surprisingly, Andrews has become one of UW’s best perimeter shooters. He’s averaging 39.2 percent shooting on three-pointers, which is second on the team. He shot 27.8 percent on threes after his first two seasons. On Wednesday, Andrews also had four rebounds, three assists and a career-high tying four steals in 26 minutes.
If Williams-Goss throws you the ball, SHOOT: Unselfishness, turnovers and inaccuracy cost Nigel Williams-Goss a chance to break or tie Washington’s 39-year-old assists record. Chester Dorsey set the record with 15 in two games in 1975. Williams-Goss finished with 11, which was one shy of his personal best. But there were at least 3-4 opportunities for an assist that didn’t happen because teammates didn’t handle the pass, missed a shot or passed up an open look. Williams-Goss also had nine points and six rebounds in 33 minutes.
Where’s Taylor?: The 48-point blowout allowed coach Lorenzo Romar to empty the bench. To the delight of players and fans, walk-ons Dan Kingma and Greg Bowman scored their first collegiate points. Walk-on KJ Garrett nearly scored, but two free throws rimmed out. Almost everyone made an appearance except Jahmel Taylor. The sophomore guard hasn’t played since Nov. 27 when he logged five minutes against San Jose State. The Huskies have had two blowouts in the past three outings, but Taylor has remained on the sideline. When asked about Taylor, Romar said: “He’s working through some things.”