SEATTLE (AP) — Lorenzo Romar could tell early when the turnovers began piling up and the mistakes continued that No. 13 Washington was mentally exhausted.
The Huskies still found a way — mostly because of their defense — to remain undefeated.
Shawn Kemp Jr. scored 16 points, Nigel Williams-Goss added 14 and Washington pulled away in the second half for a 66-57 win over Tulane on Monday night.
The Huskies improved to 11-0, matching the best start in Romar’s tenure as coach. Washington also started 11-0 during the 2005-06 season.
“We’ve played 11 games and I think this is the first one where we just weren’t ourselves,” Romar said. “We turned the ball over far too many times. We just weren’t ourselves. A lot of balls we hand in our hands we just weren’t able to hold onto them. But we were able to survive.”
Washington committed a season-high 18 turnovers coming off a short turnaround after its narrow win over Oklahoma in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The Huskies were sloppy and careless for stretches, but used a 14-3 run midway through the second half to take control.
“It was sloppy. We know we didn’t play with the mental focus that we needed to,” Williams-Goss said. “I think some of our intensity waved up and down throughout the game.”
The quick turnaround after the draining one-point win over Oklahoma was a test to see how the Huskies will respond to short turnarounds once Pac-12 Conference play starts next month.
And it turned out to be far more difficult than most expected.
Kemp made seven of 11 shots, including six dunks, and Robert Upshaw continued to be a force in the middle for Washington. The 6-foot-11 center finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
“I knew if I cut to the basket they would find me,” Kemp said. “They always do.”
Dylan Osetkowski led Tulane (9-2) with 12 points. The Green Wave had their nine-game winning streak snapped.
Jay Hook added 11 points and Jonathan Stark scored 10 for Tulane.
Tulane had beaten up on lesser competition in running off its longest win streak since early in the 2011-12 season. The Green Wave made it difficult on Washington, but the Huskies ultimately prevailed.
Tulane went nearly 8 minutes at the end of the first half and to begin the second half without a field goal, the skid finally getting snapped on Osetkowski’s reverse layup with 15:25 left. That basket started a 17-8 run by the Green Wave, capped by Louis Dabney’s 3-pointer for a 46-43 lead.
Darin Johnson’s three-point play pulled the Huskies even and started an eight-point spurt finished off by Andrew Andrews’ 3-pointer with 6:53 left for a 51-46 lead. Andrews had missed his first seven shots.
Williams-Goss eventually capped the 14-3 run with his fast-break layup for a 57-49 lead with 4:35 remaining, matching the Huskies’ largest lead of the game to that point. Washington’s cushion eventually reached 12 in the closing seconds.
Despite struggling with turnovers, Washington held its eighth opponent this season under 40 percent shooting. No team has shot higher than 42 percent against the Huskies through 11 games.
ON THE GLASS
Despite having a size disadvantage, Tulane was relentless on the backboard. The Green Wave outrebounded Washington 36-33, including 16 offensive rebounds. The advantage on the offensive glass led to 13 second-chance points for the Green Wave.
Tulane: The Green Wave were averaging fewer than six 3-pointers per game this season, but knocked down five in the first half. Tulane finished 7 of 17 on 3s.
Washington: The Huskies were averaging fewer than 12 turnovers per game, but it was apparent early they were not taking care of the ball. Washington had nine turnovers in the first half and another nine in the first 12 minutes of the second half.
Tulane: The Green Wave conclude non-conference play against St. John’s on Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Washington: The Huskies play their final non-conference game when they host Stony Brook on Sunday.
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