Coming off a disappointing loss to Tennessee the Huskies needed a feel good win and they got one in a 72-53 victory over Maine to improve to 3-1. A string of steals and Naz Carter highlight reel dunks sparked the Dawgs after yet another slow offensive start.
Washington had a pair of missed opportunities in transition plus an unforced turnover in the first few minutes as things looked rocky early on offense for the 4th straight game. The Huskies started out playing man defense with some press and Maine worked the shot clock and hit a few early jumpers to take a 7-4 lead.
Isaiah Stewart had a few early misses but a pair of putbacks was part of 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the first 11 minutes before he first took a seat on the bench. That effort helped propel Washington to a narrow lead. Maine kept things close at 17-13 before Washington went into hyper drive.
The Dawgs went to their zone with Nate Roberts and Sam Timmins in the game and it absolutely gave Maine fits. Washington wracked up 9 steals in the first half and they led to a trio of highlight reel Naz Carter dunks and a few layups by Quade Green. On the 2nd dunk Quade knew what the crowd wanted and turned down an open basket layup or dunk to throw another alley oop to Carter. Those baskets plus a Green 3-pointer were part of a 15-0 Washington run which quickly put them up 30-13. Washington would eventually find themselves up 36-18 at halftime led by Stewart's 12 points and Quade Green's 9 points.
Jaden McDaniels quickly got on the board after a scoreless first half with an alley oop dunk and a baseline floater on the first few possessions of the 2nd period. But with the Husky defense once again playing man to man, Maine's leading scorer Andrew Fleming got open for consecutive open straight away 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 40-24 prompting a furious timeout from Mike Hopkins.
Maine continued to finally find their 3-point stroke as they made another pair over the next several minutes and only an offensive surge behind Sam Timmins of all people allowed Washington to keep the lead from slipping too much. A Maine timeout with 10:23 remaining in the game saw the Huskies holding onto a 54-36 lead.
From there the game became all about the Husky freshmen. True freshmen Marcus Tsohonis and RaeQuan Battle made their Husky debuts while Bryan Penn-Johnson got in for the first time this year. RS frosh Nate Roberts scored his first basket as a Husky with an aggressive tomahawk jam on a nice cut to the basket. Washington had out for awhile a lineup of the 4 true freshmen plus BPJ. Meanwhile Marcus Tsohonis hit a 3-pointer and BPJ made a pair of free throws. Maine hit another trio of 3-pointers in the closing minutes to prevent the Huskies from covering the spread. Still, Washington got a late basket from walk-on Jason Crandall to polish off the 72-53 win.
Isaiah Stewart led Washington with 16 points and 9 rebounds while Quade Green and Jaden McDaniels added 11 points apiece. The Husky offense committed a season low 6 turnovers but shot just 3/15 on 3-pointers while Maine ended the game with 9 triples but 20 turnovers against the UW defense.
The Dawgs return to action at 8p on Friday night against Montana.
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