Roder's career night lifts Washington over Durant
Washington senior Kyle Roder scored seven of his career-high 26 points during the span of 49 seconds in the fourth quarter to give the Demons the lead, and then he made four free throws down the stretch to help his team hold off Durant for a 57-53 win on Friday night.
With his team trailing the Wildcats by three with less than five minutes remaining, Roder scored seven straight points to put the Demons in front. First, Roder rolled off a screen and buried a 3-pointer that tied the game with 4:43 remaining.
“I just felt like I had it tonight, I guess,” said Roder, who hit four 3-pointers in the game. “I had a lot of open shots that I took, but then I had some where I was like, ‘All right, we need some points here to get back into it.’ So I just threw up a couple, too.”
After Washington tied the game, its full-court press began to affect the Wildcats. Following a steal, Roder was fouled on a layup attempt. He made both free throws, and then, after getting a steal, made two more foul shots to put the Demons ahead 47-43 with 3:28 remaining.
“We started turning the ball over,” Durant head coach Brian Timmerman said. “Some of those turnovers were just mental mistakes and silly little early-season stuff. Hopefully we can take care of that. We turned it over and they were able to convert.”
Durant junior Von Glaser tossed in a runner to trim Washington’s lead to 49-47 with 2:18 remaining, but Roder answered with a pair of free throws. And after Glaser hit a 3-pointer to trim the lead to one, Roder made two more foul shots.
“I struggled with free throws last year, so over the summer and preseason that was my main focus coming into this year,” said Roder, who went 8-for-9 from the charity stripe in the contest.
Washington sophomore Daryn Sebelius made one of two free throws and junior Alex Coker made three of four from the foul line to push the lead to seven points with 20 seconds remaining. Glaser banked in a 3-pointer from 25 feet with 12 seconds left to cut the lead back to four and Coker missed a pair of free throws, but Glaser’s long 3-pointer in the closing seconds was off the mark and Washington (1-1) got its first win of the year.
“It’s nice to get a win,” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said. “The hardest one to get is the first one.”
Glaser, who hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points, single-handedly kept the Wildcats (1-1) in the game.
“They had 53 [points] and he had 32 of them,” Smeins said. “He’s just tough to guard.”
Glaser rattled in a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 16-13 lead after eight minutes of play. And after Roder nailed a 3-pointer to open the second quarter, Glaser made a pair of 3-pointers and senior Brett Lilienthal added a third as Durant opened up a nine-point lead.
Glaser’s 3-pointer with 1:36 left in the first half, his fifth of the game, gave the Wildcats a 28-21 lead, but the Demons made a pair of baskets to trim Durant’s lead to 28-25 at the break. Glaser had 17 points in the first half.
“My assistant said, ‘He’s in the zone,’” Timmerman said. “Sometimes I like to give him a break in the first half, but he played the whole game tonight. Like Coach [Cody] Wille said, he was in the zone. It was a heck of a game by Von.”
Senior Justin Shaffer added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats.
Roder had 26 to lead the Demons, and senior Justin Hoffman added 10. Coker finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
“I think our offense was a little better tonight [than in our season opener at Mid-Prairie],” Smeins said. “We scored 57 instead of 46, so we were a little better offensively. Although we’ve still got a long ways to go on that, too. We were discombobulated quite a bit at times. But we’re getting there. It’s early in the season and we’re a young team in terms of game experience.”