SEATTLE — With Washington’s top scorer C.J. Wilcox bottled up by Oregon State’s aggressive defense, Nigel Williams-Goss took over with one of the best performances by a freshman in UW history.
Williams-Goss scored a career-high 32 points as Washington rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat Oregon State 87-81 on Saturday.
Williams-Goss’ point total was the most by a freshman at Washington since the NCAA made freshmen eligible in 1972 and the most scored by any Husky this season.
“I think that’s probably one of the best freshman performances we’ve seen in this building,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He was just very, very efficient offensively and defensively.”
Williams-Goss was 10 for 15 from the field, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers, and 9 for 10 on free throws. He also added five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
“We’re a really unselfish team and we want everyone to play well, and when someone has a hot hand we feed them,” Williams-Goss said. “But at the same time, we try to play together no matter what so it was just a really good team effort.”
Wilcox added 14 points to pass the 1,700 career-point milestone and move into No. 7 on the school’s all-time scoring list despite being held in check most of the game as the Beavers had 6-foot-10 forward Eric Moreland covering the 6-5 guard.
The Beavers’ focus on Wilcox meant Williams-Goss could often get into the lane for his scoring opportunities.
“When coach and I were watching the film yesterday, we called it the ‘C.J. effect,’ ” Williams-Goss said. “When he comes off screens, two guys jump at him and it opens up everyone on the floor, not just me. When you play with such a prolific scorer like C.J., it’s much easier.”
Washington (13-8, 5-3 Pac-12) trailed by 12 points with 18 minutes to go before taking control with a big run midway through the second half. The Huskies led by 11 with less than four minutes to play, but Oregon State (11-8, 3-4) cut it to 78-75 with a minute to go.
Williams-Goss put the game mostly out of reach when he converted the three-point play with 44.8 seconds left, and Washington closed the game by making six free throws in the final 32 seconds.
Roberto Nelson led the Beavers with 31 points, and Devon Collier had 23 points and six rebounds.
Nelson came into the game as the Pac-12’s top scorer with 21.7 points a game, and Wilcox was No. 2 at 19.9. In the battle between the two, Nelson held the upper hand except during the Huskies’ crucial run.
Nelson had seven points before Wilcox got off his first shot more than 10 minutes into the game, and Wilcox didn’t score until four minutes later. At halftime Nelson had scored 15 of OSU’s 38 points and Wilcox managed just four, spending the final minutes of the half on the bench after picking up his second foul.
The Huskies went on a 14-2 run — including Wilcox’s first eight points of the half — to go ahead 59-55, and pushed the lead to 10 points, 68-58, with seven minutes left in the half.
In other games Saturday:
No. 2 Syracuse 64, Miami 52: CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Syracuse held Miami without a basket for 7½ minutes down the stretch and made eight consecutive free throws in the final minute to remain unbeaten.
No. 21 Michigan 80, No. 3 Michigan State 75: EAST LANSING, Mich. — Nik Stauskas made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:12 left and finished with 19 points and freshman Derrick Walton Jr. scored a season-high 19, lifting Michigan to a win over Michigan State to remain the only Big Ten team without a conference loss.
No. 4 Villanova 94, Marquette 85: MILWAUKEE — Ryan Arcidiacono had 20 points and 11 assists, and coolly guided Villanova in overtime following a frenzied finish to regulation.
No. 5 Wichita State 78, Drake 61: DES MOINES, Iowa — Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 14 and Wichita State stayed perfect with a win over Drake.
No. 6 Florida 67, Tennessee 41: GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Michael Frazier II scored 17 points, Scottie Wilbekin added 13 and Florida won its 11th consecutive game.
No. 7 San Diego State 74, Utah State 69: LOGAN, Utah — Xavier Thames scored 31 points, including 10 in overtime, and San Diego State held off pesky Utah State for its 17th straight victory.
No. 8 Kansas 91, TCU 69: FORT WORTH, Texas — Andrew Wiggins scored 19 of his career-high 27 points in the first half and Kansas never gave TCU a shot at a repeat of last year’s huge upset, beating the Horned Frogs.
No. 9 Wisconsin 72, Purdue 58: WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Sam Dekker and Traevon Jackson each scored 15 points Saturday to help Wisconsin end its three-game losing streak.
No. 10 Iowa 76, Northwestern 50: EVANSTON, Ill. — Roy Devyn Marble scored 14 points and Iowa never trailed.
No. 11 Oklahoma St. 81, West Virginia 75: STILLWATER, Okla. — LeBryan Nash scored a career-high 29 points and had nine rebounds to lead Oklahoma State.
No. 14 Kentucky 79, Georgia 54: LEXINGTON, Ky. — Aaron Harrison scored 15 points as Kentucky pulled away for the win.
No. 16 Iowa St. 81, No. 22 Kansas St. 75: AMES, Iowa — Melvin Ejim scored 20 points as Iowa State snapped a three-game losing streak.
No. 18 Duke 78, Florida St. 56: DURHAM, N.C. — Rodney Hood scored 18 points to help Duke give Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski his 900th victory at the school.
No. 20 Pittsburgh 83, Maryland 79: COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Lamar Patterson scored 28 points as Pittsburgh completed its first regular-season sweep as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Texas 74, No. 24 Baylor 60: WACO, Texas — Texas freshman guard Isaiah Taylor scored a career-high 27 points as the Longhorns stretched their winning streak to five game.
No. 25 Oklahoma 74, Texas Tech 65: LUBBOCK, Texas — Buddy Hield scored 18 points, 12 on 3-pointers, to lead Oklahoma.
Arizona St. 72, Colorado 51: TEMPE, Ariz. — Jahii Carson had 18 points and Jonathan Gilling added 12, leading Arizona State to a rout over Colorado.