If you were looking for a pretty basketball game heading into Thanksgiving, this was not the game for you. The Washington Huskies (4-3) fought hard in the first half that saw a lot of sloppy play but ultimately end up losing to Nevada (3-4) by a score of 81-62. The Huskies looked like they may have had their Thanksgiving Turkey at Half-time as the energy quickly dropped on the defensive end and Nevada was able to pull away late.
UW came in looking for the Tourney Sweep and the Crossover Championship with a Win. For those that like to Bowl, a 3rd win would have been the basketball equivalent to bowling a Turkey. Had to throw Thanksgiving and bowling reference out there.
Both team’s were able to get on the scoreboard early, led by Desmond Cambridge and Will Baker for Nevada and an early Terrell Brown three pointer, which was only his 3rd of the season. Daejon Davis put Washington up 5-2 early with a nice drive and knocked down two free throws. From there, UW went cold and turned the ball over on 3 straight possessions, mostly unforced. Nevada ends up going on a 11-0 run to push the lead out to 13-5 until Daejon gets another layup to break the drought.
It was obvious early on that Nevada was giving extra attention to Terrell Brown after coming off a career night of 32 points. UW countered early by having Daejon Davis play the point position and running Terrell Brown off of screens but with little success.
Nevada got up to a 15-7 lead until UW went on a 11-0 run as well to grab the lead at 18-15. The Huskies seemed to be in control but tired legs may have set in with several missed shots that were hitting the front of the rim.
Nevada also moved to a 1-3-1 defense that seemed to stall the UW offense, especially with 7 footer Warren Washington playing up top. Seemed like a strategy to get the ball out of Brown’s hands and caused several misses and turnovers. UW still had the lead at 22-21 with 3:36 left in the first half but a few turnovers in the last 3 minutes gave the lead right back. Bey did finish the half with a 3 to tie at 27 but Grant Sherfield was able to take Nevada into the locker room with a 27-25 lead on an aggressive drive to the hoop.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half, shooting under 33%. UW did shoot a respectable 36% from 3 while Nevada shot 18% from deep. The key of the half was 11 Washington Turnovers and gave up 7 offensive boards to Nevada that led to 2nd chance points for Nevada. Emmitt Mathews and Daejon Davis led UW with 7 points while Terrell Brown only had 4 points on 1-5 shooting.
2nd Half Picks Up The Tempo But Game Slips Away
Both teams came out and exchanged baskets in the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half. Warren Washington was giving UW trouble inside with multiple offensive rebounds and Grant Sherfield was able to get to the hoop for 6 quick points. Washington however, was able to create some offense with their press defense and creating 5 Nevada turnovers early on.
Terrell Brown finally got it going with his 2nd three and another patented pull up mid-range jumper. Brown also found Nate Roberts for a lob dunk/layup. Roberts brought some early energy with 5 points but 1 for 3 from the foul line and was unable to finish a 3 point play. Cole Bajema (8 Points) also finally gets going and knocked down a 3 as well to give UW a 45-42 lead. Unfortunately, that would be the last lead as Nevada goes on a 19-4 run including a 10-0 run to pull out to their biggest lead of 61-49 with 8:19 left.
Washington looked like they may have got the momentum back with a quick PJ Fuller 3 and then a Bajema Steal that led to a Terrell Brown layup. However Brown tips the ball at a Nevada player to get a technical foul and Nevada makes both free throws to pull back up 9. Bad break and uncommon miscue for Brown. Was also the 2nd technical foul in the 2nd half as Coach Mike Hopkins was T’d up a few minutes earlier after a foul called on Daejon Davis.
Nevada quickly pulled out to their biggest lead of 15 at the time and never looked back. The wheels started to fall off earlier but snowballed in a short amount of time as Nevada took full control.
The story of the 2nd half was poor defense, missed free throws and giving up offensive rebounds, which has been the recipe for previous poor performances. Fatigue was definitely a factor playing 3 games in 3 days but Nevada was also playing 3 straight games. The Washington defense seemed to run out of gas, allowing Nevada to score 52 points in the 2nd half after only giving up 29 in the 1st half. The tired legs led to a lot of reaching and Nevada made Washington pay shooting 25/33 from the free throw line.
Nevada ends up winning by a score of 81 to 62, while hitting 10 free throws in the last 6 minutes. Nevada is led by balanced scoring with 23 points for Grant Sherfield, 21 points from Desmond Cambridge and 15 points and 9 rebounds from Center Warren Washington.
Washington was led by Terrell Brown again with 19 points but unfortunately received zero help in the 2nd half. No other Huskies finish in double figures with Mathews, Davis, Bey and PJ Fuller combining for 8 points in the 2nd half. PJ Fuller had been so great in the first 2 games but did not have it in this one, finishing with just 3 points. One bright note, Freshman Samuel Ariyibi scores his first Husky basket on a nice looking 3 pointer from the corner and recorded a steal shortly after.
Washington heads home with still a successful 2-1 trip but leaves with a bad taste in a very winnable game. The game was up for grabs at halftime and the Huskies could never get going. Washington next plays Winthrop on Saturday at 7 pm back home in Seattle. Hopefully some home cooking can get the Dawgs back on track and get back to playing how they played against George Mason and South Dakota State.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.