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Huskies Escape Seattle U with 89-84 Victory

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Jaylen Nowell led the way with 25 points

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Washington at Washington James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies held off a pesky Seattle U team and won the Battle for Seattle 89-84. Jaylen Nowell once again served as the Huskies' closer, hitting 6 free throws in the last minute to finish with 25 on the day. Matisse Thybulle chipped in with 18 points while David Crisp had 16.

Neither team got off to a hot start as they traded baskets for the first several minutes. The Huskies finally put together an 8-0 run on a pair of 3 pointers by Nahziah Carter and David Crisp to go up 16-9 and force a Seattle U timeout. That lead ballooned to 21-11 at its peak.

But the Huskies couldnt shake the Redhawks as foul trouble hurt them. Dickerson picked up his 2nd with about 8 minutes left in the half and Thybulle picked up a 3rd just before halftime. Those foul shots meant that despite shooting 33% from the field, Seattle U trailed by just 2, 38-36, at halftime.

Both teams came out hot in the 2nd half as a trio of Redhawks 3-pointers closed them to within one. Washington fought back and kept getting consecutive baskets. Once again though the Huskies couldn't open up a lead. 8 different times Seattle hit a 3-pointer while trailing by 5+. That kept the game from ever getting out of hand like Washington fans hoped/expected to eventually happen.

Seattle took the lead after consecutive makes from beyond the arc at 60-59 but UW answered and never gave up the lead again. It remained close as the Huskies held a 2-7 point lead for the next 10 minutes. UW led just 81-80 with 2 minutes left though but the Dawgs went 8/8 from the line in the closing minutes to hold on.

Key Observations

  • Thybulle continues to alternate hot and cold. He was a monster at times with multiple blocks, steals, and jumpers in the 1st half. However, he also committed several head scratching turnovers and broke Hop's trust by picking up a 3rd foul before half time when left out there for 4 minutes with 2. He didnt play much in the 2nd half after picking up his 4th on what looked from the stands like a clean block. He finished with 18 points, 5 steals, 4 assists, and 3 turnovers.
  • When Dickerson gets into foul trouble it completely changes the dynamic for the Huskies. He couldn’t stay in the game and finished with just 9 points and 3 rebounds in just 20 minutes.
  • Sam Timmins came to the rescue though for the Dawgs. He put together his best all-around performance of the year with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and only 1 turnover. He caught several contested passes in the lane and converted them for layups or dunks. His game is much better suited when going against a fellow tall and not so athletic big like Seattle U’s 7’3 Aaron Menzies. Timmins couldn’t do much to stop Menzies once he got the ball but Sam did a good job denying entry passes and keeping him from dominating too much. An encouraging performance.
  • The Huskies went from the under 12 to the under 8 timeout with an interesting lineup featuring David Crisp, Carlos Johnson, Dominic Green, Nahz Carter, and Hameir Wright. They seemed to mostly hold their own although Crisp took that lineup as a sign that he had carte blanche to put up any shot he wanted. The Huskies were impacted by foul trouble but it was still a surprise to see none of Nowell, Thybulle, or Dickerson out there for almost 5 minutes. It’s almost impossible for the Huskies to score without them.
  • The Huskies looked like they had a chance to break the game open when Seattle’s best two players each had 4 fouls with about 7 minutes left. But the Huskies kept jacking up 3-pointers rather than driving and Kavas never got his 5th while Menzies fouled out in the last minute. Kavas was nearly unstoppable for Seattle with 25 points on just 14 shots including 5/10 from deep.
  • Once again the best offense for Washington was to shoot free throws. The Dawgs went 25/30 for 83% from the charity stripe. Seattle shot 76% but missed the front end of a one-and-one which helped the Dawgs.
  • The team announced before the game that freshman Michael Carter III broke his left hand and will be out 6-8 weeks. That leaves the team even worse off at point guard than they were entering the year which was pretty dire. Given that Dan Kingma didn’t enter the game today it appears that Hop would rather have Nowell/Thybulle share backup point guard duties than bring Kingma off the bench while a game is still close.

The Huskies next play at home on 5p Sunday night against UC Davis.

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