Everyone knew that this Washington team would experience growing pains with such a young and inexperienced team. But the Huskies looked like the veteran team over the last few minutes as the Dawgs mounted a furious comeback and ended the game on a 21-5 run over the last 8:45 of the game and held on for a 67-64 victory.
The Huskies unfortunately had the tone of the first half set on the first possession when Isaiah Stewart turned it over following a double team and Baylor came down the floor and nailed a 3-pointer. Quade Green had the first basket of the season for Washington and a Hameir Wright 3-pointer gave Washington a 5-3 lead.
But the Bears continued to find open looks particularly in transition and consecutive made 3’s for Baylor put them up 5-9. Jaden McDaniels answered with a 3 after the first of 3 offensive fouls against the Huskies was called on Isaiah Stewart who lowered his shoulder. Another Baylor 3 put them up 8-12 as they started 4/6 from behind the 3-pt arc.
Isaiah Stewart started getting the ball down low as he made 3 baskets over the next several possessions including a pair of nice hook shots. But Baylor was able to capitalize in transition and hit some tough shots so that Washington didn’t make up ground on the scoreboard. The Huskies continued to get called for offensive fouls and Baylor gained a 7-1 advantage in fouls. After a made 1-and-1 Baylor extended their lead to 10 at 19-29.
A Naz Carter 3 with 3:27 left brought the Huskies within 7 at 24-31 and several turnovers by each team meant that were no more scores in the final minutes of the half. Washington went to the break having committed an appalling 15 turnovers but Baylor missed their final six 3-pointers of the half which allowed the Dawgs to keep it close.
Washington made a run at the beginning of the first half behind some nice play by Jaden McDaniels and a layup that should have been an and-1 brought the Dawgs to within 3 points early on. But Baylor answered back and following an and-1 jumper by Gillespie Baylor had extended the lead back out to 9 points at the under 16 timeout.
Things continued to go against the Huskies as Naz Carter was called for an obvious offensive foul but after a Hardy steal Carter missed the transition layup. That led to a Baylor fast break and Bandoo stepped into an open 3 to put the Bears up by 11 at 50-39. Once again it looked like Washington would get a break as Naz seemingly had a steal and an obvious fast break dunk. But Bandoo recovered the ball and was able to again hit an open 3 to put Baylor up 59-46 with 8:45 left. That could have been the dagger for a young and inexperienced Husky team.
Instead they kept fighting and a lineup with Jamal Bey at point guard put out a ton of length which prevented Baylor from finding any open looks. Meanwhile, Hameir Wright hit a 3 and Jamal Bey and Jaden McDaniels were fouled on consecutive drives to the hoop to bring Washington within 4 points with under 4 minutes to go.
Jaden McDaniels was called for a flop after a Husky miss and the resulting technical led to a Baylor free throw and a 5-point lead. The Bears wouldn’t score again the rest of the way. Instead, Jaden McDaniels sank a pair of free throws on the last 1-and-1 to bring the Dawgs within 3. Then after a missed Baylor 3 went out of bounds off the Bears, Jaden drove and found an open Naz Carter who drained the 3 to tie the game at 64. Another missed Baylor 3 gave the ball back to the Huskies and they isolated Isaiah Stewart down low who hit a turnaround jump hook to give Washington their first lead since 5-3. Naz Carter made 1-2 free throws after yet another Baylor miss but a switch up to man-to-man on the final possession for UW forced a terrible Baylor shot and the Huskies prevailed.
Naz Carter led the Dawgs with 23 points and 7 rebounds but freshmen Isaiah Stewart (15 pts, 7 boards) and Jaden McDaniels (18 points, 7 boards) also had big nights. The Huskies return to Seattle for their home opener against Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night.
Double Bonus Dots
- The Huskies were incredibly sloppy with the ball leading to 15 first half turnovers but only had 5 giveaways in the second half. Their relentless length continued to give Baylor problems throughout the game which led to almost even out the turnover count at 20-17.
- You have to give Baylor credit for playing absolutely phenomenal transition defense. The Huskies were stonewalled every time they tried to push the pace and it resulted in block after block and steal after steal. Kudos to them and it’s fortunate it didn’t cost the Dawgs the game.
- Quade Green was out of the game during the big UW run but he had a solid night setting up the rest of the team in his Husky debut finishing with 2 points but 9 assists against 3 turnovers.
- Hameir Wright once against struggled with careless turnovers but he made shots when it counted and played phenomenal defense to finish 2⁄3 from outside for 6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 blocks (!), 4 turnovers, and 4 fouls. This feels like a pretty typical Wright stat line.
- Coach Hopkins kept a very strict rotation as Sam Timmins and Nate Roberts played a minute each and otherwise Jamal Bey and Elijah Hardy were the only reserves to get into the game. Marcus Tsohonis was in street clothes which may suggest he’s going to redshirt barring injury.
- Naz Carter was overly aggressive and careless with the ball but he knocked down 4/6 shots from behind the arc to finish with 23 points. The 3 turnovers were too many especially since several were of the careless variety but what an opening night for the junior.
- Isaiah Stewart was phenomenal on the defensive end in the final 4 minutes continually contesting Baylor shots and fighting for loose rebounds. His numbers would’ve been even better against a lesser rebounding team as many of the board opportunities went out of bounds. This felt like an off night for him and he still finished with 15 points and the game winner.
- And after all of that Jaden McDaniels was probably the best Husky on the court. The degree of difficulty on his baskets were insane and he was 7/8 from the free throw line when the Huskies needed every single point. He was sloppy at times with 4 turnovers against 2 assists but when Washington needed a shot, McDaniels was there.
- This is the kind of non-conference win the Huskies couldn’t manage last season. If Washington ends up with a great seeding come NCAA tournament time this victory will likely play a huge part.
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