By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Sports: Central’s men’s basketball team loses to University of Washington, 95-65; McLaughlin leads all scorers with 30 points

BY JARYD CLINE,  Sports Editor

Senior guard Mark McLaughlin called Alaska Airlines Arena on the campus of University of Washington home for four months. After later transferring and spending one year with Central Washington University, McLaughlin returned to play his former team and showed the fans in Seattle what they could have had.

Leading all scorers with 30 points, McLaughlin kept the Wildcats close until the size and speed of the Division I Huskies were too much for Central, which lost 95-65.

Just five days after being out-rebounded 53-24 by Washington State University in the Wildcats’ opening exhibition game, Central was again outmatched in the paint. This time, the Wildcats gave up a 52-33 rebound advantage to the Huskies.

With an average starting lineup height of just 6’3, the Wildcats struggled both scoring and defending in the paint.

Senior center Kevin Davis, the Wildcats tallest starter at 6’9, played just nine minutes while failing to score and record a rebound and fouled out of his second consecutive game. Davis, along with McLaughlin, also has ties to the University of Washington. Davis committed to Washington as a senior at Todd Beamer High. academic reasons forced him to attend the College of Southern Idaho in 2010, however, and Tacoma Community College in 2011.

The Huskies did their fair share of running and gunning, finishing with 23 fast-break points, but the majority of the damage was done inside as they scored 60 points in the paint and kept the Wildcats to just 28.

Central’s starting lineup consisted of just two returning starters, Davis and McLaughlin. Senior forward J.B. Pillard III played in his second game for the Wildcats after transferring from Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent Northwest Nazarene University two years ago. Pillard, who was selected to the GNAC preseason all-conference team, finished with seven points, four rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes.

Also rounding out the Wildcats’ starting lineup was a pair of guards who played together last year at Tacoma Community College. Junior Joshua Lord scored four points and dished out three assists while sophomore Jordan Russell finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Just three players who played in tonight’s game played for the Wildcats last year, Davis, McLaughlin and sophomore guard Joey Roppo.

The Wildcats led just once in the game, 13-12 at the 14-minute mark in the first half. Central kept the game relatively close in the first half until the University of Washington ran away with it after halftime. Trailing by 11 with 13 minutes remaining, the Huskies ran off a 10-0 run over three minutes that deflated the Wildcats.

Senior forward Perris Blackwell led the Huskies with 21 points and nine rebounds after sitting out last year when he transferred from the University of San Francisco. Senior guard C.J. Wilcox passed up the NBA draft for his last year in college and finished with 16 points and three steals.

McLaughlin’s hot shooting (11-22) couldn’t spark the rest of the team, as he was the only Wildcat to shoot 50-percent or better from the field. McLaughlin added three 3-pointers and shot 5-6 from the charity stripe.

Giving the Wildcats much needed size, senior center Jeff Budinich scored seven points and had six rebounds while filling in for Davis as he sat out most of the game with foul trouble.

The Huskies led the Wildcats in almost every statistical category, including a 53 percent clip the field compared to just 31 percent for Central.

The Wildcats open up their regular season at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic in Seattle on Nov. 15 against Dixie State University and then battle Colorado Christian on the following day.

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