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Unheralded Freshmen Spark 64-56 Win Over Oregon State

Battle and Tsohonis carry an undermanned Washington squad

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a very disappointing trip to the Bay Area and missing several key contributors things appeared dire for Washington at home against Oregon State. But RaeQuan Battle starting for the injured Jaden McDaniels (ankle) and Marcus Tsohonis playing for Elijah Hardy (illness) combined for 23 points as Washington held a double digit lead for 99% of the 2nd half and withstood an Oregon State run in the closing minutes for a 64-56 victory. The win improves the Dawgs to 12-6 (2-3) and drops Oregon State to 12-5 (2-3).

RaeQuan Battle took advantage of his first career start right away as Naz Carter found him open in the corner and Battle knocked down a 3-pointer to start off the action. Washington stayed fairly hot from the perimeter as Hameir Wright hit a buzzer beating 3, Isaiah Stewart his a long 2, and Jamal Bey banked in a 3 in the first 6 minutes. Oregon State meanwhile started 1/10 from the floor but Tres Tinkle went 4/4 from the free throw line to keep the score fairly close at 11-6.

The offense continued to get a boost from unusual spots as Hameir Wright got an old fashioned 3-point play, Nate Roberts made a tough turn around baseline jumper, and Jamal Bey made a layup to extend the Washington lead to double digits at 21-10 with 9:02 left in the first half.

Both teams went into a bit of a scoring drought as an Oregon State put back was the only basket in the next 3:45 seconds of game clock as the teams combined to miss 8 shots in that stretch. Oregon State’s zone left Naz Carter wide open from straight away and he took his time knocking down a 3 and getting the lead to a first half high of 14 points.

There was a veritable explosion of points given the low scoring early going as the teams combined to make 7 of the next 10 shots heading into the final 45 seconds of the half. Tres Tinkle missed a deep 3 with a few seconds left but Kylor Kelley was fouled on the put back attempt and made 1 of 2 from the foul line to get the Beavers within 10 at 31-21.

RaeQuan Battle was the star of the half with 11 points of 4/6 shooting. It looked like 12 through the beginning of the half but the refs retroactively ruled he had a foot on the line on his last apparent 3-pointer.

Isaiah Stewart only had 2 points in the first half and the Dawgs made a concerted effort to get him involved as he gathered in a bounce entry pass and instantly spun to lay it in off the glass before the double team could arrive. Stewart made another two baskets with a Naz Carter 3-pointer sandwiched in between and suddenly the Husky lead ballooned to 40-23.

Oregon State strung together the rarity of consecutive made baskets but the Huskies answered on a sweet alley-oop from Jamal Bey to Naz Carter. Oregon State shifted to a 1-3-1 zone look and it appeared to give the Husky offense a good deal of trouble. Jamal Bey drove inside and did not get a foul call and it was compounded when the refs didn’t rule a shot clock violation and instead let OSU get a 2 on 1 for a layup. The exact situation happened earlier in the half and the refs waved it off rather than give RaeQuan Battle a wide open dunk. That cut Washington’s lead to 44-32 with 12:23 left in the half.

The Huskies made a concerted effort though to throw lobs in to Isaiah Stewart even if he wasn’t open and twice he was able to make the play. On the second one Stewart was held as he elevated and he redirected the ball into the basket with one hand and made the free throw. Kylor Kelley banked in a nice hook shot off the glass but the Huskies answered as Naz Carter drove and kicked it out for a Jamal Bey 3-pointer to extend the lead to 16 points at 54-38 with 8:42 to play.

Oregon State countered with their first made 3-pointer of the game in 8 tries to try to give the Beavers some momentum. But Marcus Tsohonis was having none of it. He hit an extremely nifty floater over the nation’s shot block leader Kylor Kelley and after missing a similar look a few minutes later UW an offensive board and Tsohonis drained a 3-pointer to make the lead 61-43.

As has happened to the Huskies several times this season they let off the gas a little bit in the closing minutes. Oregon State ran full court pressure over the final 3 minutes and the Beavers took advantage to cut into the lead with a 7-0 run including a 3-pointer and a pair of dunks. Marcus Tsohonis hit a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left to end any realistic shot at a comeback though.

5 Washington players finished with between 10 and 13 points as it was a well-balanced scoring attack for the Huskies. UW gained their advantage at the 3-point line hitting 9 of 22 (41%) from deep while Oregon State was just 2 of 12 (17%). The Beavers finished +10 in offensive rebounds but only officially took one more shot than Washington because of the fouls/free throw discrepancy.

The Huskies have a monumental game facing them on Saturday as they’ll take on Oregon at home on CBS at 12:30p. The #8 Ducks are coming off being massively upset in Pullman by Washington State. If Washington wants any chance of crawling back into NCAA contention they need that win added to the resume.

Double Bonus Dots

  • Washington took quite a few outside shots but it was kind of perplexing that Oregon State had only 4 fouls called on them in the first 37 minutes of the game before Oregon State began intentionally fouling. It resulted in Oregon State taking 15 more free throw attempts than the Dawgs and Washington took only 2 free throw attempts until the final 2 minutes of the game.
  • During the Italian exhibition I was extremely impressed with the play of Marcus Tsohonis and he showed those skills off tonight 12 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds while giving the Washington offense someone who could reliably start the offense. It continues to look even more baffling that Tsohonis was going to redshirt before the Green eligibility issue.
  • RaeQuan Battle went scoreless in the second half but he not only gave them a scoring spark in the 1st half but also a boost of energy on defense. He finished the game with 3 steals and was willing to dive on the floor after loose balls to keep possession. Battle had a dunk wiped away by the refs and came down with a cramp as he landed. Luckily he came back in the game a few minutes later but the score was well enough in hand that he sat most of the last 10 minutes so as not to push it.
  • Isaiah Stewart once again had a tough start with just 2 points in the first half but rallied with 11 in the second half before fouling out in the final minute. Oregon State did a good job denying him the ball so Washington resorted to lobbing it near the basket and trusting that Stewart could out jump his man even if he didn’t have position and it worked.
  • Washington got some practice against a full court press in advance of the Oregon game on Saturday and they once again did not look polished at it. The Beavers were able to end the game on a 13-3 run in the final 4 minutes. This comes after Stanford outscored the Huskies 19-4 in the final 7 minutes last Thursday night. Luckily Washington had built up a big enough lead to withstand OSU’s rally but the lack of someone who can dribble through the press and knock down free throws with Quade Green out is a serious weakness moving forward.