Coming off a 3 week COVID pause it was predictable that the Huskies would be a little rusty to start out the game. They were that and then some. Fortunately Hop must have given one heckuva halftime speech as Washington started the 2nd period on a 20-2 run which saw them take control and never relinquish it during a 64-56 win over Seattle U. Emmitt Matthews Jr.’s 17 point, 11 rebound double double helped propel Washington to the win. The Dawgs improve to 5-4 on the season while Seattle falls to 8-4.
On UW’s first possession Daejon Davis missed a wild 3 but seemingly redeemed himself jumping the passing lane for a steal and a transition opportunity. He tried to draw a foul rather than just attacking the rim and missed a layup and Emmitt Matthews Jr. missed a follow-up put back attempt to keep UW scoreless. Seattle U hit a 3-pointer to take an 8-5 lead into the first media timeout while UW was 2/9 from the floor.
After the Huskies pulled within 2 on a PJ Fuller midrange jumper, Seattle went on a 7-0 run. Cole Bajema got a block but then saved the ball directly to a Seattle player sitting under the basket who calmly got a wide open layup out of it. With the Redhawks leading UW 18-9, Riley Grigsby and Darrion Trammell had all 18 of Seattle’s points.
Terrell Brown jumped the passing lane and got a layup to what seemed like it might get UW going but Seattle answered emphatically. Their point guard beat Brown back down the floor and raced for a layup. Then he got payback and jumped a UW pass for an easy transition score to put the Redhawks up 22-11 with 10:15 remaining.
Washington’s offense at this point finally woke up as the Huskies consistently drove the ball. Cole Bajema got an and-1 layup to fall while Daejon Davis (1x) and PJ Fuller (2x) also drove for layups of their own. The last of those pulled the Dawgs back within 4 but Seattle immediately answered with a 3-pointer to go up 27-20.
The Husky defense stiffened up at this point as it took Seattle more than 5 minutes to score the ball again. And it turns out that Seattle played great defense in return by fouling going for offensive rebounds. Nate Roberts, Langston Wilson, and PJ Fuller were all fouled for Seattle’s 7th, 8th, and 9th fouls of the night. Washington managed to miss the front end of all 3 1-and-1 attempts costing them a potential 6 points and essentially adding 3 turnovers to the total.
PJ Fuller hit the first Washington 3-point attempt on 9 tries shortly before halftime to pull the Huskies back within 4. Unfortunately Seattle’s corner 3 attempt just before the buzzer bounced off the rim straight in the air about 4 feet and swished back down for a make to give Seattle the 35-28 halftime lead. PJ Fuller led Washington in scoring at the break with 10 points while Terrell Brown sat most of the period in foul trouble.
Fortunately for Washington it was an instant 180 in the 2nd half. Emmitt Matthews went on a 7-0 run all by himself to tie the game up at 35. After the Huskies had just 2 offensive rebounds in the first half they had 3 in the first 2 minutes of the 2nd half including 2 by Matthews. Seattle made a floater to end the run but that would be it for them for a long time.
Washington went on a 13-0 run over the next 5 minutes to suddenly blow open the game and put the Huskies out to a 48-37 lead. The Husky defense definitely stiffened as numerous times they got the steal for a live ball turnover and were able to capitalize in transition. Emmitt Matthews Jr. ultimately had 11 of Washington’s points during that 20-2 combined run to open the 2nd half.
Seattle didn’t completely go away though. Terrell Brown Jr. playing his former team clearly wanted to take over but it just wasn’t quite his night shooting the ball. At one point he was just 5/16 from the floor when only one other Husky had taken even 7 shot attempts. Washington’s offense managed 0 made baskets over the next 6 minutes to give the Redhawks a chance to get back in the game.
The lead got whittled down to as few as 6 points at 51-45 but Nate Roberts finally got aggressive and managed a 2 handed and-1 slam to help re-establish things for UW.
Immediately after the dunk Emmitt Matthews and Daejon Davis got steals that resulted in Husky transition layups and the lead once again ballooned out past double digits. With 3 minutes left there was a scary moment when Davis left the game with an arm injury but fortunately he came back in for the final minute and should be okay moving forward.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. with his 2nd half outburst finished with a double double while Terrell Brown Jr. made his final 3 shot attempts to end up with 16 points (on 19 attempts). On the defensive end Daejon Davis was a monster and had 6 steals and 5 assists which helped make up for his 1/6 shooting from the floor.
The Huskies finished the game shooting just 2/15 (13.3%) from 3-point range and 14/22 (63.6%) from the free throw line. However they still managed the win because of their defense. Seattle U shot a season worst 24% from beyond the arc and managed just 5 free throw attempts. Darrion Trammell was the star for Seattle with 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals while Riley Grisgby had 20 points on 20 attempts. Only 2 other Redhawks had more than 2 points and no others in double digits. The Huskies have now won 17 straight meetings over Seattle dating back to 1978.
Washington returns to Hec-Ed on Tuesday night to play Utah Valley in the non-conference finale. After that they’ll have a week off for Christmas before beginning Pac-12 play with 3 straight on the road against Wazzu, Utah, and Colorado