SEATTLE (AP) — C.J. Wilcox scored 22 points, Abdul Gaddy had 17 and Scott Suggs 15 to lead Washington to an 85-63 season-opening win over Loyola Maryland on Sunday night.
Wilcox hit four 3-pointers and Suggs three from long range for the Huskies, who failed to advance to the NCAA tournament last year despite winning the Pac-12 regular-season title. Aziz N’Diaye added 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
“We knew we wanted to get the ball to certain people, especially C.J. and Scott,” Gaddy said. “They are two of our good scorers and we want to find them. And sometimes we look for Aziz to have a good inside-outside attack.”
Dylon Cormier had 19 points, Erik Etherly 15 and Robert Olson 12 to lead Loyola (1-1). The Greyhounds were 24-9 last season and lost to Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Huskies hit 7 of 11 3-pointers in the second half after leading 33-31 at halftime in the first game between the teams.
They were 2 of 6 beyond the arc in the first half, with Wilcox and Suggs each hitting one.
“We played about as good as we could,” Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. “They shoot 3’s and when we didn’t get back and they start making them, we’re done.”
The play of the 7-foot N’Diaye impressed Patsos.
“If the big guy’s going to play like that all year they’re going to be a lot better than fifth in the Pac-12,” Patsos said about the preseason media pick of the Huskies.
Washington turned the game around in the second half behind the shooting of Wilcox and Suggs as well as the inside play of N’Diaye.
The Huskies, who lost last season’s leading scorers Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. to the NBA, had four players in double figures.
“The main thing is to knock down shots,” Gaddy said about helping N’Diaye score. “Teams aren’t going to double him if I’m knocking down shots and C.J. and Scott are knocking down shots. He’s going to have more space to operate.”
N’Diaye also does plenty himself with his rebounds.
“Aziz N’Diaye was sensational,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “It seemed like he was getting every ball that was coming at him and he held on to them for the most part.”
Gaddy has high expectations this season.
“We’ve just got to continue to keep building from this game,” Gaddy said. “I’m confident in our abilities as a team that we have enough talent to be an NCAA tournament team. ”
Gaddy, Desmond Simmons and Wilcox each hit 3’s during a 15-6 run in the first five minutes of the second half to help the Huskies build a 48-39 lead. Gaddy later converted his second three-point play to push the lead to 11.
Wilcox scored nine and Gaddy and Suggs seven apiece to help Washington to a 33-31 halftime lead. The Huskies led by as many as six but had 11 turnovers. The Huskies had only one turnover in the second half.
Cormier scored 10 and Etherly eight to lead Loyola in the first half.
The Greyhounds, who reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in 18 years last year, struggled at the free-throw line. Loyola shot 13 of 24 (54 percent) on free throws. The Huskies shot 22 of 30 (73 percent).
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)