The Washington Huskies and Texas Longorns met for the second in less than two weeks and like many sequels, this one wasn't as good as the original. If the first meeting was The Empire Strikes Back, this game was basically the Phantom Menace.
The Huskies got off to a shaky start on the offensive side of the ball, as they were only able to knock down one field goal in the first four minutes of the game. They didn't lack oppurtunities however, as they were able to pull down five offensive rebounds during this stretch, but failed to convert a single one of these second chanes. However, the Huskies were able to stay in the game thanks to some nice three point shooting from Dejounte Murray and David Crisp, as they knocked down three threes on three consecutive possesions for the Dawgs.
The Longhorns would counter however, as they ripped off a massive 28-6 run that spanned just over 8 minutes. After the Huskies reset their collective jaw, they found themselves down 35-20 with a little over four minutes left to play. To their credit the Huskies responded nicely, as they were able to cut the lead to 10 by halftime, another sign that this young Husky team refuses to quit when things aren't going their way.
The Huskies responded pretty well to start the second half on the offensive side of the ball, as a Noah Dickerson dunk and an impressive Dejounte Murray step back three cut the lead to eight with seventeen minutes left to play. Texas's Javon Felix answered with a three of his own. Murray than knocked down his second straight on the Huskies next possession. Marquese Chriss than got into the act, knocking down a three from the top of the key, cutting Texas's lead to just four, 46-42, with fifteen minutes left to play. After the break, Chriss started to flash his potential a bit, as he hit a nice turn around jump shot out of the post, and followed that up with an impressive and-1 drive to the basket that cut the Longhorns' lead to three with 12 minutes left to play. Chriss seemed to primed to take over the game and help the Huskies take their first lead of the game.
It was not to be however. Chriss missed the freethrow, struggled with foul trouble the rest of the game, and the Huskies were never able to get closer than three points for the rest of the game.
The Longhorns were able to stretch their lead to 10 with 4:38 left to play, and it seemed as though they had complete control over the game. And then Andrew Andrews happened.
Andrews ripped off a 10 point run by himself over a two minute span that cut the Texas lead to just five with little over two minutes to play.
It wasn't to be. The Huskies would score just two more points the rest of the game, as they would fall 82-70. Onto the takes.
- Andrew Andrews played arguably his best game of the year Thursday. He racked up 20 points on 6-13 shooting, knocked down three of his six three point attempts, nailed five of his six foul shots, pulled down six rebounds and dished out five asists. He also turned the ball over just twice, showing great poise and decision making throughout the game. We can argue about whether or not he should have forced up a quick three when the team was down five with a minute and thirty seconds left (he probably shouldn't have), but the Huskies would have been nowhere near striking distance without his late effort, and he had the hot hand. I was fine with the shot. If Andrews can keep making good decisios, he may be poised to have a special season. He is clearly the Huskies most consistent player at this point, and the Huskies will need all of the production they can get ofr them as their young players continue to adjust to the college game.
- Dejounte Murray, David Crisp and Marquese Chriss all flashed serious skill and potential at times tonight. However, the Huskies just seemed unable to put together long stretches of consistent offense, and it ended up costing them. It will be a sight to see when these three players can all play effectively together at the same time.
- Matisse Thybulle had an impressive game, even if he doesn't jump out of the box score. He showed an ability to penetrate into the lane under control, had a couple of nice assists to his teammates, through down an impressive alleyoop dunk, and showed off his elite speed. He is still somewhat of a project, especially on the offensive end, but he should be a very, very good player down the road.
- Thybulle, Noah Dickerson, and Malik Dime all fouled out. I can appreciate the NCAA trying to increase scoring, but it won't be fun for anyone if it means games are going to bog down into free throw shooting contests.
- Despite their cold shooting first half, the Huskies ended up shooting a percentage better than the Longhorns from both the floor and from deep. However, the Huskies turned the ball over 18 times, to just 11 for the Longhorns, and were out rebounde 40-36. The rebounding discrepancy felt worse, as the Huskies seemed unable to keep the longhorns off the offensive glass down the stretch.
- Donaven Dorsey has all but disappeared from the rotation. He only got a few first half minutes, and may not have seen the floor at all if it had not been for Thybulle fouling out. I fear this may be a sign that Dorsey will be left as the odd man out, which would be a disapointing development. Hopefully I am wrong.