Still without Scott Suggs and Shawn Kemp, the Huskies somehow managed to recover from a groggy first half to battle for a 74-72 win sealed by the free throws of Andrew Andrews and C.J. Wilcox after a couple bizarre and ill-advised fouls from Cal State. While the 43-29 score at the half certainly looked grim, and the loss of Gaddy (to an unknown knee injury) looked even worse late in the 2nd half, the team pulled through, and the effort is enough to make me a bit optimistic about the team once both of the injured players are back. If, of course, the Gaddy injury isn’t serious. Will they be great? No, but they’re improving.
One very clear example of that improvement? The monster 14 point, 18 rebound performance from Desmond Simmons. Without his scrappy resilience on the boards, the win probably wouldn’t have been possible. While Jarreau has been starting at the power forward spot in the last few games, Simmons was rewarded with a starting spot coming out of the locker room for the second half. Looking at the stats, it’s tough to believe that the Huskies won at all. C.J Wilcox had 21 points, but on poor 7-21 shooting. Andrews passed well and drove aggressively, but his 4-14 shooting was even worse. Even N’Diaye only had 4 boards. So if this team can pull through when things don’t go as planned, I have to think things are looking up.
It’ll be interesting to see what the ceiling is on that positive upward trajectory.