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Washington Huskies Battle Back to Beat Utah in 74-68 Road Win

Washington Picks up its first conference win of the season led by Cole Bajema’s career game

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 Pac-12 Tournament - Utah v Washington Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Washington Huskies traveled to Salt Lake City and come away with their first conference win this season with a comeback win, 74 to 68 over the Utah Utes. Washington looked to be on the ropes early in the 2nd half but were led by a team effort to come back in the victory.

Washington was led by Cole Bajema (15 points), Daejon Davis (16 points), Terrell Brown (15 points) and Jamal Bey (14 points) for the most balanced scoring effort of the season.

Known for previous slow starts, Washington started off strong jumping out to a 5-0 lead after a Daejon Davis three and a Nate Roberts layup. That would quickly come to a halt as UW went on to miss their next 5 shots but were able to hold onto a 5-4 lead going into the first media timeout.

Washington brought their defense again with 8 first half steals and forcing 11 Utah Turnovers but could only create 11 second chance points. Washington left some points on the table off the steals but would make up for it later when it really mattered.

With Utah putting extra attention on Terrell Brown and throwing taller defenders at him, Washington was able to find some much needed production from Jamal Bey and Daejon Davis. Both Bey and Davis have struggled out of the gate this year but both have had success against Utah in previous seasons. Bey missed his first two shots, but was able to make his next 4 shots to lead UW with 10 1st half points. Davis hit his first two buckets and later finished with a strong drive to give him 7 points in the first half.

For Utah, Gabe Madsen lead the Utes with 9 points off three 3 pointers. Madsen came in averaging 1.9 ppg and was doing his best Jake Kyman Impersonation. For those that remember, Jake Kyman was a UCLA bench warmer who torched the Huskies for 7 threes in a crushing loss that led to the free fall Quade/Isaiah Stewart season. Instead, it was Cole Bajema who countered for Washington and caught fire out of nowhere.

Utah was able to extend their lead to 37 to 30 with 20 seconds left in the half and with the ball, when Daejon Davis jumped in front of a pass for the steal and dished off to Cole Bajema for a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Big momentum play to get Washington only down 37 to 33 going into the half.

Washington Battles Back in 2nd half

Washington unfortunately couldn’t keep the momentum going and quickly found themselves down to Utah 45 to 33 after a Jamal Bey air ball and Lazar Stefanovic three pointer. It looked like it was going to get ugly for Washington with the wheels falling apart until Daejon Davis and Cole Bajema helped keep UW in the game.

Daejon Davis played a big part in turning the tide with his defense. Davis had a sequence where he had a steal, a massive block and drew a charge within a 2 minute span. The energy picked up on defense that also saw Jamal Bey dive on the floor for a steal that led to a Cole Bajema three pointer.

Speaking of steals, Washington followed an 18 steal performance against Arizona with another 13 steals against Utah. In comparison, Utah had ZERO steals, which is almost unheard of.

The defense helped Washington go on a 7-0 run to pull within one at 55-54 with 8 minutes to go with a chance to tie and take the lead with Terrell Brown going to the line. Brown uncharacteristically misses the front end, which led to a Marco Anthony Layup to pull Utah to a 57-54 lead. It looked like Utah had weathered the storm but big shots by Daejon Davis, Emmitt Matthews and Cole Bajema finally get UW over the top to take the lead.

Terrell Brown didn’t have his biggest scoring performance but may have found something with his penetrating and kicking out to open shooters. Brown had 8 assists and constantly found open shooters, including 2 big three pointers for Emmitt Matthews. Brown also had ZERO turnovers.

Washington was able to hold onto the lead with some big free throws by Matthews (2/2) and Jamal Bey (4/4 in last minute) to leave Utah with a big road win for the 1st conference win of the season.

The man of the night though has to be Cole Bajema who finished with a career high of 15 points and 5-8 shooting from 3. Bajema hit a huge three at the buzzer in the 1st half and then hit three big 3 pointers in the 2nd half to help the Huskies get back in the game. Bajema had only hit three 3 pointers all season going into the game.

Washington travels to Colorado for the 3rd road conference game for a chance to move above .500 in conference play. Next game is Sunday at 2 pm for a Sunday afternoon matinee.

Other Observations:

  • Terrell Brown and Daejon Davis combined for 31 points, 12 assists, 4 steals and ZERO turnovers. That’s great production from your backcourt. Terrell Brown also surpassed 1,500 career points tonight.
  • Jamal Bey had his best game of the season with 14 points and hit 4 big free throws late in game. Bey also had 4 steals.
  • Mathews did not score until the 4:45 mark in the 2nd half but scored 8 points including two big threes and two huge free throws to ice the game.
  • Langston Wilson made some big hustle plays again with 3 boards, and 2 steals. He kept a few possessions alive and helped UW get back in the game.
  • Play of the game: Jamal Bey diving on the floor for a steal and saving to Daejon Davis. This led to a transition 3 for Cole Bajema to start the big 2nd half run.