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Huskies Steamrolled by Baylor in Season Opener 86-52

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Washington looked like they were playing the #2 team in the country (which they were)

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Washington Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies knew they were putting themselves in a rough spot playing #2 Baylor on just a few days notice and that certainly turned out to be true in a disappointing 86-52 drubbing. Baylor could seemingly do no wrong as they drilled Washington from the 3-point arc and secured just about every single rebound.

Washington put up a fight on the defensive end early but struggled mightily to get good looks from the field. Nate Roberts took the team’s first shot (a fadeaway missed baseline jumper) and Erik Stevenson was blocked on UW’s first 3-point attempt. The Dawgs finally got on the board on a Hameir Wright offensive putback following a Jamal Bey missed 3-pointer.

Baylor took a little bit to get going as well as Nate Roberts effectively clogged the middle with 3 first half blocks but Baylor won seemingly every battle for a loose ball. The Bears got 2nd chance after 2nd chance and often found an open shooter in the resulting scramble drill after tipping the ball outside. A Baylor basket with 9:55 left in the first half brought the score to 25-5 and the rout was thoroughly on. Washington’s only other points in the first 10 minutes came on a shot clock buzzer beating prayer of a 3-pointer by Jamal Bey that banked in somehow.

Luckily, Baylor did not take great care of the basketball and Washington was able to slowly chip away at the 20 point deficit. The Bears turned the ball over 11 times in the first half as Washington got their hands into passing lanes and Baylor also threw some careless passes. It wasn’t exactly a 3-point barrage but the Huskies got some makes from Erik Stevenson and RaeQuan Battle to show a little more offensive consistency. Baylor got a layup at the buzzer and managed to stretch their lead to 38-24 going into the locker room at halftime.

Baylor came out in the 2nd half and found their 3-point stroke again as they knocked down their first three triples in the first few minutes to open the lead back up to 20 points. Nate Roberts had a pair of potential thunderous dunks swatted away from behind and a made Jamal Bey free throw was waved off for a lane violation to further the pain for the Huskies. Jared Butler finally started to heat up as Baylor’s star and a layup and a floater on consecutive possessions moved it to 53-29 which prompted a Mike Hopkins timeout.

Washington continued to get absolutely devastated on the offensive glass as it seemed like Baylor got a minimum of 2 shots at the basket on every single possession. And more often than not the Bears ultimately capitalized. Even when Baylor missed a pair of free throws they got the rebound and it turned into a made 3-pointer to make it 63-37 Baylor with just over 8 minutes remaining.

The 3-point barrage from Baylor continued as Jared Butler knocked down a transition 3 to stretch the lead out beyond 30 points for the first time at 74-43. From there, Washington’s interior defense self-destructed as Baylor managed to find look after look open inside for dunks in transition where the Husky effort seemed to have been beaten out of them.

A Nate Roberts putback on a missed free throw ended up as the final points scored to result in the 86-52 total. RaeQuan Battle led Washington in scoring with 10 points but on just 3/11 shooting. Baylor finished with 4 players in double figures and outrebounded the Huskies by an astounding 48-15 margin.

The Huskies will next head to Utah in the conference opener on Thursday night hoping they learned some valuable lessons against what might be the best team in the country.

Double Bonus Dots

  • This team will ultimately go as far as Quade Green takes them and he absolutely can’t play like he did tonight. For the second consecutive year he finished with just 2 points against Baylor (this time on 1/5 shooting). But there was no Isaiah Stewart, Jaden McDaniels, or Naz Carter alongside him this year. Washington struggled to create shots against the swarming Baylor perimeter defense and without Green creating space by knocking down perimeter shots it’s really hard to see how they score consistently.
  • There’s no getting around it. The rebounding effort was atrocious. I’m sure someone will dig up the research but I have no idea the last time UW gave up a -33 rebounding margin. Every ball that clanged off the rim found its way into a Baylor player’s hands. Every loose ball was corralled by Baylor. And this isn’t a team of behemoths. Baylor plays a 6’5 PF/C who had 15 rebounds. The Dawgs got flat out out-hustled and outworked. There’s no other explanation. That effort is completely unacceptable and Hopkins is going to be furious the way the team seemingly threw in the towel in the second half.
  • More on the rebounding. Baylor finished with 20 offensive rebounds. Washington had 15 total rebounds. Baylor finished +15 in shot attempts while also shooting 15% better from the field. Yikes.
  • Baylor shot 55% from deep against Louisiana in the opener and made 45% of attempts against the Huskies. Most of those looks were wide open although a large number of them were off of offensive rebounds when the Huskies were out of position. The best way for them to improve their 3-point defense is to start getting rebounds.
  • There weren’t a ton of positives but I’d call the rim protection from Nate Roberts one of those. He finished with 4 blocks and challenged a number of other shots. However, it’s fair to ask if he went for the block a little too often and put himself out of position for rebound attempts.
  • Not the effort Hameir Wright wanted in his first game as the lone senior on the team. He fouled out with 8:55 remaining and just 2 points (the first 2 of the game).
  • Every scholarship player for Washington appeared in the game as Riley Sorn was the last one to enter after Wright fouled out. Sorn immediately got an assist but then fouled on a block attempt.
  • 5 Huskies made their UW debuts: Erik Stevenson (8 pts, 4 TOs), J’Raan Brooks (6 pts, 2 reb), Nate Pryor (4 pts), Cole Bajema (4 pts), and Riley Sorn (2 pts)
  • If I had to give credit to one player on offense it would probably be Jamal Bey. He finished with 8 points on 2/4 shooting and just 1 turnover. Bey was aggressive driving to the hoop and twice got fouled and then knocked down all his FTs. Hopefully that keeps up after he seemingly lost confidence at the end of last season.

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