South Dakota gave #22 Washington their best shot but the Huskies closed the game on a 19-3 run to pull away late and defend their home court with a 75-55 victory. Washington improves to 6-1 on the season while South Dakota falls to 6-3.
After an 8 day break it looked like the Huskies were more rusty than they were rested. South Dakota made the first 2 baskets of the game and hit the first 3-pointer to lead 7-2. Quade Green answered though with a 3-pointer of his own. Shortly after Jamal Bey, making his first career start, knocked down a pair of deep shots of his own to give the Huskies an 11-9 lead at the under 16 timeout.
Jaden McDaniels took over at that point and made an array of difficult shots including a fadeaway dunk attempt that hit the front of the rim and rolled in and several pull up jump shots from all over the court. South Dakota went through a stretch making only 1 of 11 shots but Washington couldn’t get an offensive rebound and were just sloppy enough to prevent them from pulling away.
South Dakota finally woke up on offense and hit a couple of runners against the Husky zone with Sam Timmins manning the middle. Those baskets plus a 3-pointer gave South Dakota a lead at 21-19 with 7:09 left in the first half. McDaniels continued his hot stretch answering with a 3-pointer of his own and meanwhile the Coyotes went nearly 6 full minutes without scoring during which the Huskies went on an 11-0 run. Tyler Hagedorn, USD’s leading scorer coming into the game, finally made a shot in the paint to help keep the Coyotes within 9 points. Hagedorn finished the first half with 4 points on 2-10 shooting while McDaniels led Washington with 15 points on 7-11 shooting.
Hagedorn continued to struggle at the start of the second half as he missed 3 quick shots while Jamal Bey got a layup and Naz Carter made his first 3-pointer leading to a very quick USD timeout with UW extending the lead to 14 points.
After some sketchy offensive play on both sides Stanley Umude started to catch fire though for South Dakota and on 3 consecutive possessions he hit fade away 8-10 foot jumpers which brought the lead back to single digits with 12 minutes remaining. The Husky offense went into an undisciplined funk and a number of drives resulted either in turnovers or contested shots. Umude continued to torch the Huskies in the midrange game and Coach Hopkins called a timeout with 9:29 left in the game and Washington clinging to a 49-43 lead.
South Dakota cut it to 4 on multiple occasions but a pair of free throws from Isaiah Stewart and an early shot clock 3-pointer by Naz Carter allowed the Huskies to keep them at bay. But it looked like an unfavorable whistle might cost Washington the game when Isaiah Stewart had a completely clean block that was nonetheless called a foul which gave him 4 and caused him to leave the game. On the next possession McDaniels was called for an over the back after a missed Hameir Wright layup which put South Dakota in the double bonus against just 4 fouls on the Coyotes.
The brutal whistle continued when Jaden McDaniels was called for a goaltend when he got a piece of the block before the ball hit the backboard. It appeared the refs realized that was the last straw and Washington finally started getting some foul calls when taking it to the hoop as both Jamal Bey and McDaniels hit a pair of free throws on shooting fouls to push the lead back out to 8 points and spark a USD timeout with 4:15 remaining.
Naz Carter came out of the timeout putting the Huskies on his back as he hit a floater in the lane, got a steal, and nailed his 3rd 3-pointer of the game to extend the lead to 13 and essentially put the game out of reach with only a few minutes left.
Jaden McDaniels led the Huskies in scoring with 20 points despite 0 made field goals in the 2nd half until he hit a bad sportsmanship 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded with no defense being played. I’m sure Hop will have a talk with him about that. Isaiah Stewart chipped in a double double (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Naz Carter (11 points) and Jamal Bey (14 points) also scored in double figures.
South Dakota entered the game leading the country in 3-pt percentage but made just 4 of 22 (18%) shots from deep as it was a clear area of emphasis for the Husky defense. It certainly didn’t help the Coyotes that their senior starting point guard missed his 2nd straight game due to injury; both losses. Washington also entered the game struggling at the free throw line but sank 17 of 20 from the line to ensure a victory.
The Huskies return to action on Wednesday night against Eastern Washington before a big showdown against #9 Gonzaga on Sunday.
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