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September 5, 2012

Huskies escape with 67-66 win

PARIS -- Washington withstood a barrage of missed shots in the disputed final 4.5 seconds of regulation to escape Paris with a 67-66 win over Rueil in the final game of its European tour on Wednesday.

The game ended in controversy when originally one referee ruled that the Huskies had committed a foul under the basket with 0.1 seconds remaining - which would have given Rueil two foul shots. The Husky bench and cheering section were up in arms though as it appeared that the clock had stopped running with 0.1 seconds stuck on the scoreboard and the buzzer yet to have sounded.

After conferring, the referees decided that the foul had indeed come after the final buzzer should have sounded, giving the Huskies the win and ending their three-game losing skid.

"There were 4.5 seconds left, but the play in itself took about 6.5 seconds," said Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar about his perspective of the finish. "It was good that one of the officials saw it and he called the game in spite of the horn not going off."

The non-buzzer at the end was not the only controversy to the finish of the game. Washington had the ball with 8.1 seconds remaining and three fouls short of reaching the bonus. Rueil fouled on consecutive inbound passes when on the third inbound attempt Scott Suggs was whistled for an offensive foul trying to get open for the pass with 4.5 seconds on the clock. The call fouled out Suggs and could have just as easily gone the other way.

Rueil inbounded the ball on their half of the court and Alexis Sesespringalle took several dribbles before launching an errant shot. His miss was tipped back up by one of his teammates but bounced off the rim. George Mdivani grabbed the miss and put up a third shot that originally was whistled a foul on Washington, but instead marked the end of the game.

"I'm proud of our guys," said Romar. "We overcame a lot of adversity in this game tonight and guys stepped up and got stops when we needed to get stops and we were able to come out on top."

Washington trailed 61-55 entering the final quarter but rattled off the first 10 points of the period to take their first lead since midway through the second quarter. Andrew Andrews keyed the run with four points and Desmond Simmons gave the Huskies the 63-61 advantage - a lead that they would never relinquish - with an offensive rebound and put-back.

Rueil held a 61-53 lead with 1:12 left in the third quarter but was held scoreless until the 3:19 mark in the fourth period when Ibrahim Saounera stole a pass in the backcourt, was fouled and made both free throws.

Washington got cold late in the fourth as they had several opportunities to extend its lead but missed several shots. Aziz N'Diaye scored the last points for the Huskies at the 2:36 mark with a tip jam that gave UW a 67-63 lead.

For the game, Washington was 27-for-67 from the field (40.1%). The Huskies were just 1-for-16 from beyond the 3-point arc and 26-for-51 from 2-pont range.

Suggs and C.J. Wilcox led Washington with 13 points apiece before they both fouled out. Wilcox also grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds.

Andrews sparked the Huskies off the bench scoring 11 points and dishing 4 assists. He was sorely need on the night as Abdul Gaddy sat most of the second quarter after picking up his third foul at 9:36 and his fourth foul early in the third period.

"I thought Andrew Andrews played well," Romar said of his red-shirt freshman from Portland, Ore. "He came off the bench and gave us a lift with Abdul in foul trouble. He had to log a lot of minutes."

For spurts of the game, Washington looked like they had tired legs. It was the team's sixth game in nine days. Coach Romar said it was a great sign that his men were able to escape France with the win.

"We've done a LOT on this trip," Romar explained. "We had The Amazing Race earlier today and did a lot of running around.

"We might have been a step slow, but that was part of the adversity that we had to overcome; that was a good sign."

The Huskies ended up with a 3-3 record during the European portion of their trip, but were just 1-3 in France. They have one more game remaining on their schedule this Friday against a Dakar University Club.

NOTES: Gaddy and Suggs have each scored 81 points (13.5 ppg) in the first six contests. C.J. Wilcox is not far behind with 79 points (13.2 ppg) ... Washington attempted 59 less and made 64 less free throws than their opponents during their European swing. The Huskies shot 66-of-107 (61.7%), while their six opponents combined to go 130-of-166 (78.3%) from the line ... The team of Gaddy, Suggs, Hikeem Stewart and manager Nick Matranga won the Husky version of The Amazing Race. The squad was split into three teams and had to visit different sights and snap photos at each stop.


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