In what might have been his best overall performance as a Husky, Mattise Thybulle took control of the game and lead Washington to a 64-55 win over the Colorado Buffaloes. Thybulle’s final stat line was 17 points, 6 steals, 5 blocks, 3 boards and an assist. Jaylen Nowell and David Crisp were the only other Huskies to reach double digits in scoring with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
In front of a sellout crowd at Hec Ed, 10,000 strong, Washington was able to win their 15th out of their last 16 games and remain undefeated at home this season (14-0). More importantly, the win ensured that the Huskies will at the very least share the Pac-12 regular season title. They’re only one more win away from securing the title for themselves outright, with four league games left to play.
As has been the case for the Huskies this year, defense again lead the way as Washington was able to keep yet another opponent under 60 points. Thybulle had the stand out performance of the evening moving up to the number two spot on the Pac-12’s all-time steals list behind the glove himself, Gary Payton. Thybulle currently sits at 301 steals, trailing Payton’s 321.
The Husky defense suffocated the Buffs and forced 19 turnovers, while also holding them to only 4-13 three pointers. Washington held a 35-27 lead going into halftime but ran away with the game to start the second half. A 16-6 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half helped to put the game away for the Huskies. Despite a late push by Colorado the Dawgs lead by as many as 18 points in the second half, which proved too much for Colorado to overcome.
Notably absent from this game was sophomore forward Hameir Wright who flew home to Albany, N.Y. due to a family emergency. Dominic Green started in his place and finished the night with 5 points and 6 rebounds along with a block and an assist. Due to being a man down, freshman guard Jamal Bey earned 14 minutes of playing time and managed to score 5 points while hauling in a rebound. A rather fun moment late in the first half occurred when Colorado’s Tyler Bey, Jamal’s cousin, had a pretty sick dunk. However, the fun part was that it was immediately followed up at the far end of the floor by Jamal hitting his first career 3-pointer to answer his cousin’s dunk.
This was another solid win for the Dawgs who continue to roll through conference play on their way to the Pac-12 tournament. There’s still a lot more to achieve this season but securing even a share of the regular season title with four games left to play is pretty exciting. Especially given where this team was just two years ago. This has been a heck of a turn around by Coach Hop and his staff. Of course, a big tip of the cap goes to the four seniors on this team who have helped to return Washington to relevancy within the college basketball world.
What’s next for the Dawgs? The final road trip of the regular season starts at Cal on Thursday night. As previously noted, just one more win by the Huskies in their final four games, or a loss by Oregon State and Arizona State will secure Washington’s sole possession of the conference title.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, enjoy this Thybulle highlight: