Did the Washington Huskies just become the Golden State Warriors? Ok, maybe not but the Huskies put together the best offensive performance of the season in a city that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have done themselves countless times; winning by a final score of 84 to 63. Washington moves to 12-8 on the season and 7-3 in the Pac 12.
The Huskies came in to Berkeley, California on a bit of a roll winning 5 of the last 6 games but also coming into a place where the Huskies haven’t won since Jaylen Nowell’s Freshman year in 2018. Even the 2019 Tourney team was unable to get a victory in Haas Pavilion. The California Golden Bears (9-14) came in a bit short handed without leading scorer Andre Kelly (13.4 ppg) but has been a difficult place to win for the Huskies.
From the opening tip, the Washington Huskies needed to bring in their own energy playing in front of a sparse Berkeley crowd and that is exactly what they did throughout the game. Grant Anticevich would get the first basket of the game for California but then Emmitt Matthews would score the next 7 points off three Field goals, including a 3 pointer from the corner.
Emmitt Matthews, off to a hot start in Pac 12 play shooting over 41% from 3 kept it going early on and helped jump start Washington. On the Huskies next possession, Matthews got a pass in the post and turned around for a smooth 15 foot jumper that didn’t touch rim. UW went to the post again to Matthews and then he found Daejon Davis for an open 3 to give Washington a 10-2 lead going into the under 16 timeout.
Washington would go a little cold with Terrell Brown forcing a few shots in a row and saw a quick visit to the bench with 14 minutes left in the 1st half. California would go on a mini run and pull within 10-8 until Brown came back in and started to turn it on. Brown got his first basket on a tough drive plus an and 1 to give UW a 12-8 lead going into the under 12 timeout.
The Dawgs switched to a man to man defense and the tempo of the game started to pick up for both teams. Terrell Brown found Cole Bajema for a transition 3 and then PJ Fuller with a Showtime type play going behind the back full speed to lay it in. PJ Fuller would also help draw two charges in his limited first half minutes.
Jamal Bey got into the scoring action with a confident pull up 3 and then hit another 3 in the corner to help UW pull out to their biggest lead of the 1st half at 36 to 22.
Terrell Brown who didn’t score until the 12 minute mark, hit tough shot after tough shot to have a team high of 13 first half points. Cal did a great job getting pressure on him but as Brown has done all year, just kept making challenging shots and seemed like each make was more difficult than the previous shot.
Washington had a chance to pull out to a big halftime lead when a Emmitt Matthews 3 pointer bounced off with 20 seconds left but then California Freshman Sam Alajiki would end up hitting a 3 at the 1st half buzzer to pull within a 9 point Washington lead at half. The Huskies shot 46.9% from the field and had balanced scoring with Terrell Brown with 13 points, Jamal Bey with 8, Emmitt Matthews with 7 and Daejon Davis with 5 points.
Surprisingly, Washington only had 2 steals in the first half after having 14 against Cal last game.
The Huskies Take a Page out of the Golden State Warriors Playbook
After getting off to a hot start to the 1st half, the Huskies again got off to a hot start in the 2nd half going on a 9-2 run to pull out to a 47 to 31 lead. Daejon Davis and Jamal Bey quickly got into double figures and did their best Splash Brothers impersonation, raining 3’s in the 2nd half.
It was the Daejon Davis Show in the 2nd half, scoring 14 points and hitting 4 threes (5 overall) in the game. Davis, the former Stanford Cardinal, must have felt pretty comfortable being back in the Bay area because he was looking like the guy that had many big games at Stanford. Davis never shot under 41% from the field at Stanford but has been off to a slower than usual start at Washington, only shooting 32.7% from field and 28% from 3. Tonight, Daejon shot 7-10 from the field and 5-7 from 3 to help get his averages back up.
The hot shooting would not end with Daejon Davis though, it carried on to another player that has been off to a slow start this season… Jamal Bey. Bey almost matched Davis with 4 three pointers himself, but also had a few aggressive drives, which is always a good sign that Bey is playing with confidence.
PJ Fuller and Cole Bajema would also join the fun hitting a three tonight and Washington would end up hitting 12/23 from 3, a scorching 52.2% from 3. Let’s also remember that California is the #2 three point defense in the conference and top 40 in the country. Washington was able to do with moving the ball around and finished with 18 assists, mostly making the extra pass to get an open look. All six of UW’s 2nd half three pointers came off of an assist.
Emmitt Matthews got off to a hot start with 7 points and didn’t score again until a thunderous dunk with 2:30 left to put the game away. Matthews also finished with 3 blocks including another highlight play block on 7’1 Lars Thiemann. Matthews also finished with 5 boards, 3 assists and 3 blocks.
Nate Roberts didn’t quite have a double double like he had last time versus Cal (10 points 12 boards) but he ends up leading the Huskies with a +31 differential and finished with 4 points and 8 rebounds. Roberts has played 3 games in a row with 25 minutes + and will need more of this production.
By far the most impressive offensive performance of the season and just looked like Washington was having a lot of fun out there. The Huskies finished shooting 51.6% from the field (33-64) and shooting 12-23 from 3 will be hard to replicate but getting Daejon Davis and Jamal Bey to get back up close to their career averages will help the Dawgs down the stretch.
Terrell Brown ends up with 19 points and has lead the team in the scoring in every game other than 4 games this year. Tonight would be his 5th not leading the Huskies in scoring, as Jamal Bey takes today’s honor with a season high 20 points and the Huskies would finish with 4 players in Double figures (Bey 20, Brown 19, Davis 19, and Matthews 11).
The Huskies roll into Maples arena on Sunday winning 6 of the last 7 and sweeping the Bay Area schools is never an easy feat. Dawgs play Sunday at 1 pm with no NFL games to compete with and a chance to come back home with some serious momentum.