Today was NBA all-time dunking great Vince Carter’s birthday. But against Oregon State, Naz showed that he is in the conversation for greatest dunking Carter currently in the game. The super sophomore tied his career high set earlier in conference play with 18 points on a number of authoritative dunks and the Huskies largely coasted to a 79-69 win against the Beavers. It marked the first time that UW had won at OSU since 2014.
The Huskies got off to a hot start on Thursday night in Eugene and they were equally hot at the start in Corvallis. Matisse Thybulle kicked things off with 3 steals in the first 3 minutes which led to multiple fast break opportunities and a thunderous coast to coast jam by Matisse made it 11-0.
Stephen Thompson Jr. for OSU finally got some shots to go down and a quick 5-0 run threatened to undo the early lead. But Naz Carter came in for Matisse and absolutely stole the show. He came in and immediately nailed a pullup midrange jumper. Then 2 possessions later he had one of the plays of the season with an and-1 posterization of the leading shot blocker in the country, Kylor Kelley, to put UW up 18-7 with 13:06 remaining in the 1st half.
But Naz wasn’t done there. On the next possession he got a steal on the perimeter and took it coast to coast with a nifty spin move for a layup. Then a few minutes later Naz once again threw it down with authority although this time it wasn’t called an and-1 even though the OSU big man clubbed Carter in the head. That flush extended the UW lead to 24-10 with 11 minutes to go.
There was a bit of worry during that stretch when OSU put on a press after a make and just like in the 2nd half against Oregon, Nowell got trapped in the corner and threw it away straight to a Beaver defender who was fouled going for a layup. But fortunately for the Huskies the defense continued to get stops and the offense continued to hum.
Noah Dickerson took over from there as he was fouled 3 times in one possession and then a 4th time a few possessions later. That last one was the 3rd foul for Beaver big man Kylor Kelley and forced him to the bench for the final 5 minutes of the half. However, Noah missed the front end of a 1-and-1 as well as both on a regular shooting foul to prevent the Husky lead from potentially reaching 20. Because with 1:13 in the half Jaylen Nowell put up a shot fake, his defender flew by, and then he drained a wide open 3 to put Washington up by 17 at 40-23.
However, Oregon State managed to hit a deep 3 and then Naz Carter was called for an over the back after a UW missed 3 and the free throw allowed an Oregon State 4-0 run over the last minute. David Crisp got a wide open look at the buzzer when the entire Beaver defense swarmed on Jaylen Nowell but it didn’t go down. Nowell and Carter led UW at the half with 11 points apiece while Stephen Thompson Jr. led the Beavers with 13 points.
Both teams started out hot on offense in the 2nd half. The big problem for the Huskies was that they were getting whistled for everything. UW was called for 5 fouls in the first 4 minutes of the 2nd half with the last being a charge against Jaylen Nowell. But the Washington offense continued to surge as a Matisse Thybulle dunk and Dominic Green wide open 3 pushed the lead out to 18 points with 13 minutes left.
Sam Timmins screened out his guy to allow Matisse Thybulle a wide open lane for an and-1 layup that got Washington to their biggest lead at 21 points by a count of 62-41. Given that the Huskies blew a 13-point lead with 8 minutes remaining against OSU in this building last year the Huskies were on guard but still struggled down the stretch.
Naz Carter’s layup with 4:52 remaining was the final UW made field goal while Stephen Thompson Jr. hit 3 deep 3-pointers during that stretch to bring the lead down to single digits while the Huskies missed a few free throws and again struggled to break the press. Still, Washington did enough to close it out and held on by the final score of 79-69.
Jaylen Nowell’s free throws down the stretch gave him 19 points to go along with Naz’s career high tying 18. Stephen Thompson Jr. torched the Huskies with 30 for the Beavers while Tres Tinkle had 18 but no other OSU player cracked double digits.
The win moves the Huskies to 16-4 (7-0) in conference and guarantees they’ll have at least a 1.5 game lead in the conference by the end of the night. They return to play on Wednesday night at home against USC at 8p for a late tip.
Double Bonus Dots
- Despite the big road victory there were still a number of areas for Coach Hop to harp on. The first issue was the free throw shooting as Washington missed 9 freebies including the front end of multiple 1-and-1’s. Noah Dickerson was the primary culprit as he went a very uncharacteristic 3 of 7 from the line.
- Meanwhile, Oregon State didn’t press quite as often as Oregon but they did when they could and it still appeared to flummox the Huskies. By my count there were 3 Washington turnovers against the press and 2 of them were balls thrown directly to a Beaver leading to a basket or free throws. Too often the Huskies threw it to the corner and then the receiving player just waited for the double team to arrive before doing anything. You know that every other team in the league is going to start doing this so they’re going to work on it repeatedly at every practice from now on. But they just aren’t a great passing team so there’s only so much coaching they an do at this point.
- As mentioned above, Naz Carter was the player of the game and showed off his breathtaking athleticism but also just had a good all-around performance. His final stat line included 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Washington will have to replace a lot of scoring next season but Naz looks like he’s ready to assume the mantle and become a go-to scorer if necessary.
- Noah Dickerson barely played in the final 12 minutes as Sam Timmins got those minutes. It’s unclear how much of that was about Noah being in the doghouse, how much was Noah needing as much rest as Hop can give him with UW up double digitis, and how much was about Timmins just flat out playing well. He fouled too much in this game but Sam had several nice blocks and did all of the dirty work. Twice he set a screen that created a wide open driving lane for a basket. Noah is usually too busy getting ready to receive the ball to make those kind of plays. Noah’s obviously still very valuable but sometimes you just need someone who has no illusions about scoring and would rather just set screens and rebound.
- David Crisp didn’t make 50% of his 3’s like he has in virtually every conference game but it was still a nice performance with 14 points, 4 assists, and just 1 turnover. Several of his baskets were receiving passes for easy fast break layups but it was a measured performance for Crisp outside of one possession where he just dribbled for 20 seconds and took a step back 3.
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