Husky Men's Basketball Season Opens With Exhbition Victory

Nov. 2, 2001

SEATTLE - Reserve guard C.J. Massingale led four double-figure scorers with 14 points and center David Dixon registered a double-double Friday as the Washington men's basketball team opened the 2001-02 season with an 87-43 exhibition victory over the Brisbane Capitals at Bank of America Arena.

The game was tight early on and Brisbane, a member of the Australian professional league, led by as many as six points six minutes into the contest. The Huskies overcame poor 2-for-15 shooting early in the game to take the lead.

Capital guard Brendan Beak converted one of two free throws with 6:14 left in the first half to tie the score at 19. Washington outscored its foreign guests 23-6 the rest of the period to claim a commanding 42-25 halftime advantage. The run included points from eight different Huskies.

'Once we settled down and some guys got their feet under them we did some pretty good things,' said Washington coach Bob Bender.

Washington had a pair of 11-point runs along with a 10-0 surge to stretch the lead to as many as 46 points (85-39) after intermission.

Dixon scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Huskies who had a 53-31 advantage on the boards. Sophomore Doug Wrenn, a transfer from Connecticut, totaled 12 points in his much-anticipated Husky debut while senior Grant Leep added 11 points.

The Huskies shot a stunning 91 percent from the free throw line, hitting 21-of-23 attempts. That is a stark contrast from last year's squad that had the poorest accuracy rate in the Pac-10 at 58 percent.

'You can already see that we are a much improved team' said Bender. 'Better free throw shooting helps us immensely. I don't know if that is an indication that we will be a better free throw shooting team, but at least for the first night it is an improvement.'

All eleven available players saw action for Washington and 10 of them scored.

The Huskies were without the services of freshman guard Erroll Knight who underwent surgery Friday afternoon to repair his left knee. Knight had a loose fragment of cartilage removed from his knee in a successful surgery. He is expected to return in approximately three weeks.

Brisbane was led by Scotty Lloyd's 17 points and Rowan Gray's seven rebounds. Beak finished with 11 points for the Capitals who were playing the first game of a Northwest tour that includes games against Pac-10 members Oregon and Washington State.

'If they've picked Washington to be at the bottom of the Pac-10 then we're in for a long road trip,' Brisbane coach Rob Scheibner remarked of the Huskies who were picked to finish last in the annual conference media poll.

'Washington is very athletic. Their little guys are quick and get right in your face,' Scheibner continued. 'They are going to use their athleticism to get out and pressure the ball.'

UW will host Western Washington in its final exhibition on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in Bank of American Arena before opening the regular season at Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, Nov. 15-18.

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