The last time the Huskies played a game at Hec Ed they nearly blew a 20+ point lead against Stanford. Washington apparently decided it was so much fun the first time that they should try it again. The Dawgs led by 15 points in the 2nd half tonight but were forced to survive a Colorado miss at the buzzer to hold on for a 60-58 win over the Buffs. Terrell Brown Jr. had 26 points to lead all scorers as Washington moves to 10-8 (5-3) on the season.
For everyone but Terrell Brown Jr. the offensive production tonight looked much as it did against Oregon in the 1st half on Sunday. Colorado got out to a quick 5-0 lead while the Huskies multiple times missed multiple bunnies at the rim, started 0/3 from the free throw line, and twice turned it over with a numbers advantage in transition.
Washington despite all of that led 15-13 with 11:30 remaining in the first half thanks to their defense. The Huskies managed 5 steals in the first 5 minutes and held their own on the glass to ensure a possession advantage which partially made up for the atrocious shooting.
Terrell Brown Jr. had 9 of UW’s 15 points at that moment of the game when Mike Hopkins took him out to try to give him a breather. Colorado took advantage of that 3 minute stretch to go on a 9-point run and looked to be on the verge of breaking it open. Without Brown on the court Washington never came close to getting a good luck as the ball movement disappeared.
The offense continued to struggle for a little while but Emmitt Matthews Jr. hit Washington’s first 3 of the night to bring the Dawgs back to within 20-23 with 6 minutes left in the half. Unfortunately the make came after UW missed a pair of alley-oop dunk attempts that otherwise might’ve put them in the lead. After Colorado stretched the lead back out to 7, Daejon Davis got an offensive rebound and passed it to a set Cole Bajema who knocked down UW’s second 3-pointer of the night.
Colorado kept the lead though by virtue of an outside inside game. The Buffs made 4 early 3-pointers which helped soften up the UW defense. Then they attacked inside repeatedly as Langston Wilson had 3 first half fouls and Nate Roberts had 2. Colorado shot just 30% from the floor in the 1st half but made 10 of 12 from the free throw line.
Terrell Brown Jr. took over late in the half and made tough layup after tough layup with no one else getting it done on offense. With 2 seconds left in the half he put up a prayer of a runner that swished through and brought UW within one at 31-32 heading into the break. At halftime Brown outscored the rest of the Huskies 17-14 and had just as many made field goals on 15 fewer attempts.
UW’s first possession coming out of the half couldn’t have gone much worse as Jamal Bey airballed a floater leading to a shot clock violation following 3 near turnovers. It quickly turned around though thanks to UW’s defense as Colorado went the first 4 and a half minutes of the 2nd half without a made field goal. After going up 4 points, Terrell Brown Jr. stole the ball on the perimeter. He tried to alley-oop it to Bey but Bey was falling out of bounds and tapped in what looked like a pass. But instead it hit the rim and Brown got a rebound for a layup. Daejon Davis then stole the ball on the inbounds and got it to Brown for another layup. Those 4 points in 8 seconds capped off a 9-0 UW run and necessitated a Buffs timeout.
The timeout didn’t do much though to stop Washington’s momentum. The steals continued to mount for the Huskies and a pick by Davis as Colorado tried to pass it ahead led to an and-1 layup which put Washington ahead 50-37 with 13:41 remaining.
Colorado didn’t quit though. Washington had its largest lead of the game at 15 points following a straight away Emmitt Matthews 3-pointer with 8:21 to go. Colorado traded baskets for a little while then Colorado went full court press and stole the ball leading to a corner 3-point make. After Matthews missed a corner 3 of his own, Colorado broke a double team and found an open man for a dunk which brought it to 59-53 with 4:42 remaining.
Terrell Brown Jr. managed to make 1 of 2 at the free throw line after getting fouled with 4:18 remaining but as it so often has this season Washington’s offense cratered late in the game. The Dawgs had a 3 possession stretch where a lob attempt hit the rim for a psuedo-turnover, UW committed a shot clock violation, and Brown had it stolen going for a late shot clock spin move on an isolation play. Colorado capitalized on the inaction and hit a 3-pointer then swished a pair of free throws.
Washington had their chances to put the game away at the free throw line but predictably decided that wouldn’t be prudent. PJ Fuller missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and then Terrell Brown Jr. missed both once the Dawgs were finally in the double bonus. That left UW up 2 points on the final possession. Washington went man on defense and Jamal Bey was forced to guard 6’9 Jabari Walker on the left baseline. Walker backed Bey down then tried a turn around 10-footer but Bey stayed vertical and it missed badly. Daejon Davis came out of a pile with the ball as the buzzer sounded to sercure the Husky victory.
Terrell Brown Jr. struggled in the last few minutes but still managed to have 26 of Washington’s 60 points. Emmitt Matthews was an able sidekick with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Somehow Nate Roberts finished 3rd on the team in scoring with just 6 points despite missing 3 dunk attempts and another 2 short hook shots. The Dawgs finished with a 16-5 steal advantage which turned into a +14 margin in points off turnovers which proved to be the difference in the game. Jamal Bey and PJ Fuller each had 4 steals to lead the way.
Washington returns to the court on Saturday at 2p to take on the last place Utah Utes for a chance to potentially move into 4th place in the conference standings.