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Washington Perseveres in 77-73 2OT Win Over Utah

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The Huskies survived Utah’s best shot behind Brown’s 29 points

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Utah was coming in on a 9-game losing streak. The Huskies had won 3-straight conference games at home with a chance to take control of a spot in the upper half of the standings. Despite those facts, Utah gave Washington everything they could handle but the Huskies battled back each time to eventually get the win in double overtime. Terrell Brown Jr. had 29 points to help the Dawgs improve to 11-8 (6-3) on the season.

Washington like always started slow on offense but the little offense they did get came from an unlikely source. Nate Roberts scored Washington’s first 6 points on 3/3 shooting to help get the Huskies to an early lead. Unsurprisingly though, UW’s outside shooting was nowhere to be found and that allowed Utah to get out to a 7-6 lead over the Dawgs after 7 minutes despite Roberts’ relative explosion.

In the first meeting between these teams Utah coughed up the ball constantly but they mostly avoided giving up steals early on. Washington decided to force the issue and went surprise full-court press following a pair of Brown free throws and PJ Fuller stole the ball and immediately put it up for a layup. That helped spark the Husky offense who through a combination of Brown and Roberts scored the next 6 points and put Washington ahead 19-12 with 8:10 remaining.

Utah quickly answered with Terrell Brown Jr. out of the game. The Utes on consecutive possessions hit tough midrange jumpers to get to within striking distance. Then Daejon Davis committed a foul on the floor and to add insult to injury was also hit with a technical. Utah made both free throws then after another UW foul made another pair of free throws for a 4-point possession to give Utah a 20-19 lead.

It was definitely a good time for Cole Bajema to finally knock down an outside shot as he hit UW’s first 3-pointer of the game. On the next possession Nate Roberts kicked it out to an open Jamal Bey who also nailed a 3 and in 45 seconds suddenly put the Dawgs back out in front by 5.

Utah made a living though of hitting difficult shots late in the shot clock. In the final few minutes they hit 3 contested shots with less than 2 seconds left on the clock to pull closer. Washington went small in the final minute of the half and after a double team, Utah’s 7-footer Brandon Carlson realized “wait, I’m 6 inches taller than both of you” and just rose up for a contested short jump shot. That pulled Utah within one. Fortunately, Terrell Brown Jr. knows what to do in isolation and nailed a step back 3-pointer that barely beat the buzzer to give UW a 34-30 halftime lead.

That shot gave Brown a game high 12 points at the time while Roberts at halftime already had a season high with 11 to go along with 5 rebounds and a steal.

Utah had plenty of chances to tie the game when Nate Roberts was called for a flop and Utah missed an open layup then about 3 put back chances. Instead Jamal Bey dominated the next minute as he pulled up for a foul line jumper. Then after a Brown free throw, Bey got a block with the shot clock expiring and canned a 3-pointer to put the Dawgs up 40-32 and force a Utah timeout.

From there things fell apart. Washington allowed Utah to get out in transition on 4 consecutive possessions including 3 steals which turned into 8 points for the Utes to tie the game at 40. Then Utah managed to get an open 3-point look in the corner and drilled it to cap off an 11-0 run.

Both teams battled back and forth as Utah never built up a lead of more than that 3 points in regulation. That happened again when Lazar Stefanovich found himself open following an offensive rebound and he knocked it through to put Utah up 58-55 with 1:54 remaining. Washington went to their full court press and it bothered Utah enough to slow things down. The Utes managed only a split of free throws in the final few possessions to up to 59 points. Meanwhile PJ Fuller and Terrell Brown Jr. each made their free throws to tie it up. Utah on the last possession missed a baseline runner at the buzzer that could’ve won it but instead it went to overtime.

Utah managed to get out to their biggest lead of the day in the first extra period at 65-61 as each team traded free throws. Washington drew a pair of offensive fouls though to keep the Utes off the board and Emmitt Matthews Jr. cleaned up a blocked Brown layup to tie it at 65.

Washington responded playing inspired D but 7-footer Brendan Carlson improbably hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to put the Utes back on top with less than a minute left. But again the Huskies battled back as Terrell Brown Jr. got an incredibly tough runner to fall as the shot clock expired to tie the game back at 68. After a Utah turnover Brown had a chance to win the game but was stripped and Utah fortunately didn’t realize how little time was left and so didn’t get a shot off in time so we headed to double overtime.

Daejon Davis picked one helluva time to make up for what to that point had been a very lackluster game. He hit an early shot clock 3-pointer for his first made field goal of the game and then played great defense to force a travel by Utah. After a made Utah free throw Cole Bajema got into the action with a made 3 of his own to put the Huskies up 74-69. Washington looked like they might try to blow it yet again with 3 missed foul shots in the final 20 seconds but Utah missed their final 2 shots to allow the Dawgs to survive.

It was the Terrell Brown Jr. show all night as he finished with 29 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks (plus 3 turnovers). No other Husky finished with more than 11 points as Nate Roberts failed to score in the 2nd half or either overtime. Jamal Bey was the only other Husky in double figures with 10 points but he fouled out and missed some key shots down the stretch. Washington finished forcing 20 turnovers and blocking 11 shots to prop up their anemic offense.

With the win the Huskies are guaranteed at least a share 4th place in the conference at the end of the weekend with their 6-3 record (it could be a 3-way tie depending how the rest of the games shake out). UW now has 3 winnable, though not easy, games coming up at the Bay Area schools and home versus Arizona State before the 3-game gauntlet of Arizona, at USC, and at UCLA arrives.