After knocking off #2 Kansas in Kansas City on Wednesday the Huskies prepared to play the most hotly anticipated game in more than a half decade. In fact, it was the first non-conference sellout since 2010. The Dawg Pack came out in full force for the first time all season and Mike Hopkins delivered them all pizza. The only question was whether the Huskies could live up to the hype.
And it turns out they couldn’t as they got decimated by Gonzaga in a 97-70 loss to the Bulldogs. The effort combined with Kansas’s loss to Arizona State took the winds out of the sails of the thought that this UW team might be ready for a .500 or better record in conference.
Gonzaga got out to an early 12-6 lead but the Huskies hung in tough for a little while. They got within 2 points at 11-13 but things fell apart from there. Matisse Thybulle picked up his 2nd foul just 3.5 minutes into the game and it caused the defense to collapse. Gonzaga went on a 10-0 run and eventually doubled up UW at 26-13.
Fouls were the biggest problem as Gonzaga got into the bonus just 6 minutes into the game. The Huskies have been the aggressor throughout much of the non-conference schedule as they entered in the top-10 in the country in most free throws per field goal attempt. But the Bulldogs’ length, athleticism, and experience befuddled the Huskies.
Washington faced a 47-33 deficit at halftime with Gonzaga going 16-19 from the foul line. The Huskies meanwhile went just 7-14 and refused to help themselves out.
The foul troubles continued early in the 2nd half but was compounded by Gonzaga hitting 4 of their first 6 attempts from deep and ending the game with 10 makes from beyond the arc. The Huskies started to hit shots but they couldn’t keep up pound for pound in a scoring contest with Gonzaga. Noah Dickerson helped by hitting a pair on 3-pointers which tripled his career total entering the night.
Dickerson ended up leading the team in scoring with 18 points and 4 rebounds. David Crisp contributed with 16 points and 3 assists including four 3-pointers. Jaylen Nowell had 11 points but fouled out with 6 minutes left. Gonzaga had 6 double digit scorers but were led by Johnathan Williams with 23 points.
The Huskies’ next game will be against #207 Loyola Marymount on Sunday night. UW still has three more home games against lower level competition to try to end the non-conference with more wins than they had all of last season.
- Everything went right for the Huskies in the win against Kansas but everything went against the Dawgs tonight as they certainly didn’t help themselves. Timmins committed three over the back fouls on offensive rebound attempts he had absolutely no shot at. David Crisp had several nice drive and dishes against Kansas but those turned into live ball turnovers tonight. After allowing 0 fast break points last week the Dawgs got destroyed in transition as Gonzaga refused to let the zone get set.
- The refs ruined any attempt at getting a flow going in this one as they called a foul any time a player sneezed. That killed the Huskies as Timmins and Thybulle both got in early foul trouble. Nahziah Carter got called for a foul on a dunk by Gonzaga in which replays showed he never touched the guy. But his presence caused the Zags player to be slightly off balance and that was enough for the ref.
- Timmins did not have a good game but he did have the most impressive play I’ve ever seen him make. He got double teamed on the baseline, almost lost the ball, but regathered it and spun around both players to lay it up and get an and one (although he missed the free throw).
- Gonzaga went to a press for a long stretch in the 1st half with Thybulle out and it was extremely effective. It didn’t necessarily result directly in steals but it frazzled the Dawgs and don’t be surprised to see teams with depth go to it a lot more often.
- Washington got destroyed on the glass as they were out-rebounded 42-27 including a 13-6 margin in offensive boards. UW also committed 4 more turnovers. Giving the other team an extra 11 possessions and an extra 8 free throw attempts is going to lead to a blow out unless the other team shoots about 30% and the Zags shot 50.8% from the floor and 80.8% from the line. This was an old-fashioned butt whoopin’. Short memories and on to LMU.