Ross lighting up 2nd half lately for Washington

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 26, 2012
Terrence Ross' last three games have been a tale of two halves. Washington's sophomore swingman with NBA potential has gone from being ineffective in the first half of each contest to sizzling in the second. ''Thank goodness he's gotten going in the second half,'' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. ''That has been a pattern in these three games. Let's see if that continues.'' Streaky doesn't even begin to describe the games against Washington State, California and Stanford. Ross scored a combined eight points in the first half and shot 13.6 percent. He's knocked down those same shots as the clock winds down, scoring a combined 55 points and shooting nearly 60 percent in the second half. It's part of why Ross is coveted by NBA scouts, who believe his lanky 6-foot-6 frame, smooth skills and an ability to get hot from the perimeter will translate well at the next level. The Huskies (12-7, 5-2 Pac-12) are simply hoping Ross can continue to be a scoring threat this weekend in the desert against Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday as Washington tries to remain near the top of the Pac-12 standings. Washington enters the road trip a half-game behind California and Oregon in the conference standings. Now, if Ross could spread out his scoring and not be so second-half centric, his coach might appreciate that, too. The run of remarkable streakiness for Ross began on Jan. 15 against rival Washington State. At halftime, Ross was 1 of 9 shooting with four points and his team trailed by six. At one point early in the second half, Ross had missed 10 of his 12 attempts. He then made his next six shots and set off on a scoring binge unlike any other moment in his college career. For good measure, he even hit a turnaround 3-pointer with a man in his face as he dribbled away from the basket. The 26 second-half points would have been a career-high by themselves for Ross. But his scoring binge didn't stop there. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the second-half of a three-point loss to California, then added another second-half flurry last Saturday against Stanford with 16 of 18 points in the final 20 minutes against the Cardinal. The point totals are eye-catching, but taking into account Ross' first-half struggles in each of those games makes it even more impressive. ''The second half I'm more relaxed, know where to pick my spots from and know how to attack the defense,'' Ross said. ''I think I can read the defense a lot easier and still be patient but pick my spots and understand what is going on the floor.'' Getting that complete consistency out of Ross would be helpful this week as Washington hits the road for the first time since the beginning of the month. Washington has just one road victory so far this year, a 57-53 win over Utah on Jan. 7. The Huskies will need to get accustomed to the road since they play seven of their final 11 Pac-12 games away from home. And they may be without guard C.J. Wilcox for a fourth straight game on Thursday night in Tempe. Wilcox is recovering from a stress fracture in his left femur. ''We have to minimize mistakes,'' Ross said of playing on the road. ''Play hard, play smart and stick together through adversity.'' --- Follow Tim Booth on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ByTimBooth
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