ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Washington’s performance from the free throw line was abysmal for most of Sunday night.
But when the Huskies really needed them, they made the most of their free throw attempts.
Andrew Andrews scored 20 points and Washington sunk six free throws in the final 48 seconds for the deciding points to edge UTEP 68-65 in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy.
“The right guys were at the line down the stretch,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. “They shot it with a lot of confidence and knocked them down.”
UTEP led 63-62 with under a minute to go and Washington (6-0) was just 8 of 14 from the line at that point. But Huskies guard Mike Anderson sunk the tying and go-ahead free throws with 48 seconds to go, and Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss followed with a pair each to secure the tournament title.
The free throws saved Washington after it blew a 13-point first-half lead.
“I give our guys a lot of credit, we really competed today,” Romar said. “Guys just came up and made plays. Our guys did a good job of maintaining their composure down the stretch and getting shots at the rim.”
Williams-Goss had 16 points and six assists and was named tournament MVP. The sophomore guard averaged 16.7 points and dished out a tournament record 26 assists over the 3-day event. Andrews joined him on the all-tournament team.
“Our mindset was to come down here and get three wins,” Williams-Goss said. “We felt like this tournament was going to be our first true test and we were going to see how we stacked up against some of the top teams in the country. We feel pretty good to be coming out of it 6-0.”
Vince Hunter had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Miners (4-1) and was also named to the all-tournament team. Julian Washburn added 17 points and Cedrick Lang scored 14.
UTEP made just 2 of 15 3-point attempts in the game, while Washington was 6 of 12. One of UTEP’s misses came at the buzzer, when Omega Harris’ potential game-tying 3-pointer from the right wing rimmed out.
The Miners scored only two points on 1 of 5 shooting in the final two minutes.
“We had our opportunities but didn’t capitalize,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “We have a couple of execution things we need to clean up on.”
Washington: Four different Huskies players averaged double figures in scoring in the tournament — Williams-Goss, Andrews (11.3), Donaven Dorsey (10.7) and Robert Upshaw (10.0). The Huskies are off to their first 6-0 start since 2006-07. Washington is now 4-4 all-time against the Miners.
UTEP: The Miners haven’t won an in-season tournament outside of their own Sun Bowl Invitational since December 1984. Hunter is the first UTEP player with a double-double in the Miners first five games of a season since Jim Barnes in 1963-64. Washburn passed Jason Williams for 14th on the school’s all-time scoring list. Washburn has 1,437 career points.
NCAA TOURNAMENT BOUND?
Washington is in good company with its title. The previous seven winners of the Wooden Legacy all advanced to the NCAA tournament. Four won at least one tournament game.
Joining Williams-Goss, Andrews and Hunter on the all-tournament team were Long Beach State point guard Mike Caffey and Xavier center Matt Stainbrook.
The honorable mention team consisted of Washington’s Upshaw and Anderson, UTEP’s Lang and C.J. Cooper and San Diego guard Johnny Dee.
Washington: Hosts No. 15 San Diego State on Dec. 7.
UTEP: Visits Colorado State on Wednesday.
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