The Huskies have shown growth by beating the teams they were supposed to unlike many occasions in the past several years. But the one thing that was missing was the demolition against what should be an overmatched opponent. It took about 15 minutes but the Huskies finally got there.
After a pair of 3-pointers with 7 and a half minutes left the Huskies trailed Kennesaw State 24-23. But from there the Dawgs turned on the jets. After a Jaylen Nowell basket, David Crisp answered back with a pair of 3’s of his own and nailed two free throws to result in an 8-0 run by himself and put UW up by 9. A slew of turnovers turned into fast break points and the Huskies ended the half on a 24-6 run which upped the margin to 48-29. The last two points came on a nice assist by David Crisp which Noah Dickerson turned into an emphatic two handed dunk.
In the 2nd half the Huskies extended their lead out to 26 points on a Carlos Johnson layup at 75-49 with 6:16 to go. From there Coach Hopkins called off the Dawgs and put out a lineup filled with bench players and walk-ons the rest of the way. Those players allowed Kennesaw State to cut the lead to its final margin of 14 in a game that hadn’t been that close in 20-25 minutes.
Noah Dickerson dominated as expected against a team that had no one taller than 6’8. That size differential was exasperated when the Owls’ starting center picked up 2 fouls in the first four minutes of the contest. Dickerson finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and a career high 4 assists. Kennesaw State was led by James Scott with 21 points.
- The nice thing with having a near 20-point lead at halftime is that it allows some players to get more run than usual. Hameir Wright had by far his best game as a Husky when the Husky forward exploded for 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block while shooting 3-3 from deep. Coming into this game he was averaging a ridiculously bad 12.6 fouls per 40 minutes. But he only committed 2 in extended minutes and was a 2-way weapon. If he can contribute as an effective bench player it will be a big boost entering conference play.
- Another reason for some different minutes playing time is that Matisse Thybulle reportedly had flu-like symptoms and he clearly got tired after just a few minutes of play. Still, he finished with 5 points, 2 steals, and a block.
- Sam Timmins was the other key player in a Husky triumvirate of big men as he finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and a pair of blocks. He had a career high 10 free throw attempts as the Huskies repeatedly tried to exploit the size mismatch he enjoyed. Step 1 for Timmins is to not immediately turn the ball over upon starting a post move. He accomplished that for the most part tonight. Step 2 will be for him to convert an and-1 when he gets fouled rather than settling for 2 foul shots where he’s just under 60% on the year. He also had a pair of assists to Dickerson on the first instances of big men interior passing I’ve seen all year.
- For the first time in his young Husky career, Jaylen Nowell didn’t hit double digit points. Part of that was the Huskies didn’t need any late game heroics for once and so he wasn’t repeatedly fouled in the final minute. Also, his shot wasn’t falling and he struggled with turnovers driving into the lane and getting stripped or travelling. However, when he held onto the ball he made some nice plays including a pair of wonderful assists to Noah Dickerson for layups/dunks. He ended with 6 points, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers on 3-9 shooting. Better days are ahead.
- The Huskies got some playing time for their walk-ons and the end of the bench which kept the Dawgs from covering the 14.5 point spread. They ended the game with a lineup of Dan Kingma, Jason Crandall, Greg Bowman, Nahziah Carter, and Carlos Johnson. Kingma and Bowman each played the last 5+ minutes and the defense predictably suffered. If you are a degenerate gambler who bet on UW to cover and experienced a heart breaking loss, I’m sorry. Also, you need help.
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