Updated: April 19, 2012 8:38AM
SEATTLE — Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was asked how he would try to stop the Huskies’ Terrence Ross.
“Probably low-bridge him,” Romar said.
What Northwestern tried didn’t work.
Ross scored a career-high 32 points and top-seeded Washington beat fourth-seeded Northwestern 76-55 on Friday night in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
C.J. Wilcox added 20 points for Washington (23-10), the Pacific-12 regular-season champion. Washington is the first team to win a regular-season title in a power conference and get left out of the NCAA tournament.
John Shurna led Northwestern (19-14) with 24 points.
On Tuesday night, Washington will host the Oregon-Iowa winner Sunday.
Ross had 3-pointers and also added eight rebounds.
Washington started the second half on 13-4 run behind Ross. He made three 3-pointers during the spurt, equaling his career high of six 3-pointers with 15:02 left.
Northwestern led by eight points in the first half, but Washington rallied for a 39-32 halftime lead.
“We had a nice early lead, things were looking pretty nice, but their continued pressure in the half court defense-they got their hands on balls, forced a number of turnovers,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. “We had 11 turnovers in the first half and we only average 10 for a game. I thought that was really the difference. Their defense was just really good. And then, they beat us to so many balls. They’re quick and fast, but they’re also good basketball players.”
The Wildcats shot 21.9 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 57.9 percent in the first.
“Against Northwestern, that’s really hard to do,” Romar said. “They’re so efficient on offense.”
Washington outrebounded it 44-26, a total swelled by 20 offensive rebounds.