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Huskies Pull Away for 85-67 Victory over WSU in Conference Opener

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Washington starts out Pac-12 play in the win column

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

The Huskies have had to endure some slow shooting nights but when David Crisp’s 3 swished in on the opening possession it ended up being a harbinger for a good offensive night as the Huskies defeated the Washington State Cougars by a score of 85-67. The win moves them to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play.

The Huskies knocked down their first three 3-pointers including a pair by Crisp (the first of which was the 200th of his career) to jump out to an early 13-5 lead and it looked like UW might blow the Cougars out. Washington State played without their leading scorer Robert Franks who averages more than 22 points per game. But Seattle native and true freshman C.J Elleby more than made up for Franks’ absence as he made shots from everywhere on the court and took over WSU’s scoring early.

The Cougars kept it close at 16-13 with 15 minutes to go in the first half but the Huskies again went on a scoring spurt with a 10-0 run including a nifty block leading to a transition layup by freshman Jamal Bey and eventually a 31-19 lead. But WSU wouldn’t go away behind a barrage of 3-pointers and C.J Elleby’s sweet midrange game. The Cougars went on a 13-2 run in just over 2 minutes to bring it back to a 1-point game. The two teams traded baskets over the final 5 minutes of the half but a Jaylen Nowell floater just before the buzzer gave the Huskies a 41-36 advantage as the Cougars shot 52% from the field in the 1st half.

A pair of WSU 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 46-45 prompting a Coach Hopkins timeout. But as the Huskies have done so often this year they found the energy to go a big run when threatened by a lesser team. Back to back 3’s by Jaylen Nowell and Matisse Thybulle concluded a 12-0 run from that point to put the Huskies back up by double digits at 57-46 with 14 minutes to go.

The lead never got closer than 9 points the rest of the way as the Huskies kept WSU at bay despite an occasional burst that threatened to make the game close again. Luckily, Washington kept having the answer on offense and at one point made 11 of 13 shots with 6 minutes left in the game.

David Crisp led the Huskies in scoring with a season high 23 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Jaylen Nowell chipped in with 20 of his own while Matisse Thybulle added 17 points on just 4 shot attempts (!!!) plus 2 steals and 4 blocks.

The Huskies start their conference road slate next week with a game at Utah at 7p next Thursday night.

Double Bonus Dots

  • Noah Dickerson had one of his worst games of the season with just 4 points and 1 rebound despite playing against a Wazzu lineup with no rim protection or size down low. He just could never establish position on the block and subsequently almost never got the ball. Hopefully he can shake it off.
  • Dominic Green played one of the finest defensive games of his career and ended up with 4 steals. He also showed off a nifty euro step move for a transition layup after one of them and ended with 7 points.
  • Naz Carter had one of his better all-around games tonight with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Several times this year he’s shown the ability to drive and kick out to an open shooter and when the Huskies are making those shots it really opens up the offense. Next year it wouldn’t surprise me if he averages 3 assists per game.
  • The Huskies ended up shooting 55% from 3-point range following on the heels of several dreadful shooting nights. Thybulle, Crisp, and Nowell each hit three of them. That allowed Washington to survive Wazzu shooting 41% from deep and 91% from the free throw line.
  • Elijah Hardy got into the game for the first time since he broke his hand against Auburn as he entered with about 45 seconds remaining. On the only offensive possession he dribbled into a 3-pointer and nailed it for his first career basket. Congrats Elijah!
  • Kentucky PG transfer Quade Green was on the bench in a UW polo and was introduced to the crowd. His addition to the team was officially announced yesterday and he will be eligible in January 2020.
  • C.J Elleby was sensational for the Cougars with 26 points and 10 rebounds on 8 of 13 shooting. He was the local sleeper prospect in the 2018 class and the Huskies are happy with Jamal Bey but if Elleby continues to play the way he has so far in his WSU career then he may be viewed as the one that got away.


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