The Washington Huskies outlasted the Long Beach State 49ers as the Dawgs advance in the NIT 107-102. The Dawgs were led by Freshman Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss in one of their best games of the season.
Murray led all scorers with 30 points while Chriss added 27 points and 11 rebounds. Andrews chipped in 25 points and key free throws at the end to seal the deal for the Dawgs.
Long Beach St. came out on fire and the Huskies didn’t feel like playing any defenses. This was reflected in the 49ers charging out to an 8-point lead. The Huskies capitalized on superior height inside on the offensive end (but not defensive end) and Marquese Chriss had several dunks early as the Huskies were down just 14-10 at the first media timeout.
However, one of the Huskies fatal flaws for the season came through early as the lack of defense and allowing opponent offensive rebounds allowed the visitors from the Big West to get up by 10 midway through the first half.
There was no real detailed strategy for Long Beach State except that they played aggressive. The lack of Husky defense allowed the 49ers to do anything they wanted. The 49ers lead grew to 13 after an offensive rebound and a 3 pointer.
Fortunately, the Huskies went on an 8-0 run to the end the first half after Andrew Andrews hit a shot and an "and 1" to bring the deficit to 5 at 51-46.
Dejounte Murray led all scorers with16 points at the half on 5-7 shooting.
At the start of the second half we saw something similar to the start of the game.
A 49er offensive rebound leading to two shots and another missed Chriss dunk led to an unabated layup putting the 49ers up by 8.
But, the Husky defensive intensity seemed to increase. The Huskies went to a full court press in the second half which sped the game up even more. Although the Dawgs were burned a couple times, they produced some scores off of the pace. The Dawgs also played with a sense of urgency and there were more bodies diving on the floor.
After Noah Dickerson split two free throws the Huskies managed to get the lead down to 68-64 with under 14 minutes to go. Another stop and Andrews drew a foul which produced two more shots to get the lead down to two.
The Dawgs tied the game at 72 after a Noah Dickerson layup. After the teams traded buckets the teams went into the under 12-minute time out tied at 74.
After another missed dunk, this time by Matthysse Thybulle, it left the score at 70-68. But UW moved ahead after a Chriss jump shot and foul to give the Dawgs a 77-74 lead.
With a 79-78 lead, the Huskies stalled on two possessions failing to capitalize on a couple stops. The seal was blown off the lid of the rim with a Murray to Dime alley-oop. But with the Huskies up 81-78, a four-point play gave the 49ers the lead again.
Another four-point play put LBSU up 91-90. It was the second four-point play of the night.
A David Crisp (yes, Crisp) 3-pointer gave the Dawg another lead at 95-94. But another offensive rebound by Long Beach State brought the 49ers back in the lead. The teams traded buckets leaving LBGSU up 98-97 with 1:41 left. But a foul on the 49ers put Chriss on the line to bring the Huskies back up 99-98.
After a failed offensive attempt by the Huskies, a lapse on defense allowed the 49ers to take the lead at 101-100. A turnover the 49ers put the Dawgs in the driver’s seat with just 23.8 seconds left. Andrews sealed the 49ers fate with free throws to close out the game.
The Huskies now face the winner of the San Diego State-IPPFW winner.