It was the first opportunity for Husky fans to watch their team in person in a little over 18 months and they had to like what they saw: a smothering Husky defense. Washington forced 25 turnovers and Terrell Brown Jr. led the Dawgs with a game high 17 points as UW walked away with an 83-50 victory.
Brown Jr. got the action going on UW's first offensive possession swishing a wide open corner 3. Soon after Emmitt Matthews Jr. got a steal and took it all the way for a thunderous one-handed and-1 dunk to put UW up 6-0. Washington’s offense sputtered from there as the only other basket over the next 5 minutes was an alley-oop transition dunk by Matthews. Central meanwhile finally knocked down a couple of 3's and Hop called timeout with UW trailing 10-8 with 12:07 left in the 1st half.
It didn't take long for the Dawgs to respond. Some layup attempts finally started to fall and Washington went on a 13-0 run to storm back in the lead. Freshman Jackson Grant entered in his Husky debut and made an immediate impact on the defensive end. He had 3 blocks in just a few minutes and altered several other shots before getting rewarded with an open slam running the pick and roll with Brown on the other end. A Bajema finger roll layup sent the Huskies into the final media timeout of the half up 27-13.
Hopkins went with a 2 big lineup with both Roberts and Wilson for the first time and it didn't exactly spark the offense. Although UW's next basket was an impressive Wilson dunk on an inside feed from Roberts. That was the only UW basket the rest of the half and Washington went into the break leading 29-17.
Terrell Brown led the Dawgs with 9 points at the break while Nate Roberts had 8 rebounds. The Hsukies shot just 2/13 from deep with 12 turnovers but had 7 blocks on defense.
Daejon Davis decided to take over the first 2 minutes of the 2nd half. He got fouled following a steal and made 1/2. Then after a buzzer beating desperation 3 from Central, Davis drove to the hoop for an easy layup, stole the inbounds pass, and hit a 3-pointer. Then 2 possessions later Davis stole another inbounds pass which resulted in a Bey dunk then stole it on the next defensive possession and threw it ahead to Matthews for a thunderous dunk to put UW up 41-20.
During that time UW had a full court press set up which wreaked havoc on Central. The Wildcats were called for 7 fouls in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half as they struggled to deal with UW's athleticism (including a pair of drawn charges by Terrell Brown Jr. in the open floor). By the time we hit the 1st media timeout of the 2nd half the Huskies had suddenly gone on a 22-4 run in just under 5 minutes.
Hop decided to do a full shift change and did a 5 for 5 swap including freshman Samuel Ariyibi making his debut and PJ Fuller playing point guard. The 6'4, 6'7, 6'8, 6'9, 6'10 lineup caused problems on defense but predictably struggled to score. The group had the lead at 59-26 when Hop reversed it and went back to the original starting 5 with 11 minutes left.
It appeared Kentucky back when wasn't the only team to be deep enough for the platoon system as Hop stuck with the plan through the next media timeout. Central started to heat up from the 3-point line and cut it back down to 30 at 69-39 with 6:36 remaining. The lead could've been bigger but Nate Roberts went 0/4 from the free throw line on back-to-back possessions.
At the final media timeout the Huskies maintained their 30 point lead with a 74-44 advantage. Both teams started to foul and lost concentration as it became a free throw shooting contest late. Hop decided to let the starters be done for the night instead of going back on the platoon system and the same bench 5 remained in the game.
UW beat a full court press by Central which allowed Samuel Ariyibi a dunk and his first basket as a Husky. With 2:50 left Dominiq Penn entered the game for the first time. On the next possession UW got a steal and an off the backboard alley-oop to Langston Wilson which would've brought the house down...except Jackson Grant was on the other end of the court with a very bloody nose that looked like it might have been broken. We'll hope he's okay and able to play for the season opener next week.
Finally with 1:32 remaining and an 81-47 lead, Hop fully emptied the bench and the walk-ons all got in the game.
Terrell Brown Jr. finished as one of 4 Dawgs in double figures with 17 points. Backcourt mate Daejon Davis had 10 points and 4 steals, Emmitt Matthews had 12 points and 6 rebounds, and Jamal Bey scored 10 points with 4 assists. Nate Roberts led the Dawgs in rebounding with 12 to go along with 6 points. UW finished just 6/22 from 3-point range including 3/14 from the trio of Brown, Davis, and Matthews.
Dunk mix?— Washington Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) November 5, 2021
Dunk mix. pic.twitter.com/mvvIZIXZF6
The Dawgs open the regular season on Tuesday night against Northern Illinois at 7pm PT on Pac-12 Networks.