In their first home game in nearly three weeks, the Huskies managed to overcome a sloppy first half and rallied in the second to defeat the Cal Bears 66-56. After the last two games included miserable shooting from behind the arc, the Huskies made nearly half of their three pointers going 9 for 19 in tonight’s win. Washington now holds a 13-4 record and is 3-1 in conference play. This was Cal’s first true road loss after starting 3-0 away from Berkeley.
Freshman standout Jaylen Nowell lead the way for the Dawgs by scoring 11 points in the first half and ended the game with 20. He also tacked on a solid stat line with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Noah Dickerson, David Crisp and Freshman Nahziah Carter also scored in double digits with 12, 10 and 10 points, respectively.
The first half was a bit chaotic and choppy, as both offenses struggled to put points on the board. A tough offensive night for Cal was highlighted by going 7-17 from the charity stripe. At one point, Washington held Cal scoreless for nearly 7 minutes, but failed to build more than a seven-point lead during that stretch. Both teams also struggled with fouls and turnovers. Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle both managed to get into foul trouble early. Meanwhile, Washington ended the night with 20 turnovers, while Cal had 18 of their own. With 34 seconds to go in the first half, Nowell hit from deep to give the Huskies a 25-24 lead. With five seconds left, Michael Carter III added a triple of his own to take the Dawgs into the half with a 28-24 lead.
The turning point in the game was when Cal’s leading scorer on the season, Don Coleman, fouled out on a technical with 13 minutes to go. A career high 27 points from Bears Freshman Justice Sueing wasn’t enough as the Huskies were able to capitalize on the technical and began to distance themselves from the Bears. Crisp, who was scoreless for the first 25 minutes, hit two threes during an 18-5 run for the Dawgs, including a ridiculous 25-footer off an inbound play. While the game was close at times, the Dawgs never relinquished their second half lead.
The efforts of freshmen Jaylen Nowell and Nahziah Carter are to be commended in this one. As Nowell continues to prove that he is the go-to scorer for this squad, Carter managed to step up when the team needed him to deliver. Thybulle received his fourth foul early in the second half, requiring Carter to play key minutes down the stretch. His 10 points came in a very efficient 14 minutes. Carter is the third bench player in as many games to provide the final spark in the Dawgs’ win. Coach Hop really seems to be pulling the right strings at the right time. Go Dawgs.
Next Up: Stanford (9-8, 3-1) on Saturday at Hec Ed