There is a saying in Las Vegas “playing with House Money,” the Washington Huskies were essentially doing just that, going up against a talented San Diego State (4-1) team. With not much to lose after defeating Xavier on Friday night, the Huskies played exactly like that and put on the best offensive performance of the season. Despite some great moments and other not so great moments, the Huskies fell to San Diego State by a score of 100-97 and move to 3-2 on the season.
The Washington Huskies displayed a complete 180 performance on offense by scoring 97 points and dishing out 27 assists on 52% shooting for the game. The most team assists since 2011 for Washington but not quite enough to pull off the upset.
After a poor shooting performance versus Xavier, the Huskies got off to a hot start shooting the ball. Keion Brooks started the game knocking down a three-pointer to take an early 3-0 lead. Moses Wood missed his first attempt from the field but then quickly knocked down two jumpers, including a three-pointer to help give the Huskies an 8-5 lead.
San Diego State would score the next 6 points, led by Jaedon LeDee, who was San Diego State’s leading scorer heading into the game.
Moses Wood would break the San Diego State run with his 2nd early three-pointer of the game. Sahvir Wheeler, not known for his outside shooting would also hit two early threes to help the Huskies jump out to a 21 to 17 lead.
The Huskies and Aztecs would go back and forth exchanging baskets with 7 ties in the first 14 minutes. Franck Kepnang brought a lot of energy against Xavier and carried over to tonight as Kepnang chipped in 6 points off a couple of nifty post moves as well as a monstrous dunk off a great pass from Koren Johnson.
Senior Transfer from Rutgers Paul Mulcahy brought his special delivery services in the first half. Mulcahy found constant cutters and dished out 9 assists in the first half and 0 Turnovers. Mulcahy also pulled off a step back jumper that resembled an old-man move you might see at the YMCA to give him 4 first half points.
Sahvir Wheeler got off to a hot start with 8 quick points but finished the half with 3 costly turnovers. San Diego State really emphasized raking the ball on any UW drive and forced several Washington Turnovers. However, when the Huskies were moving the ball, good things happened. Washington finished the first half with 13 assists on 16 field goals.
San Diego State would not go away and picked up the defensive intensity and crashing the offensive boards (8 in the first half) and eventually took the lead after a buzzer beater three by former Seattle University guard Darrion Trammell.
The Huskies would go into the locker room down only 3 but a little concerning to be down 3 while shooting 55% from the field and giving up 43 points.
The Huskies Battle back after Halftime to Force OT
San Diego State was only up by one point at halftime in their previous game versus Saint Mary’s and then ended up winning by 25 so the first 5 minutes would be very important for the Huskies. The Huskies started off slow with a couple of costly turnovers that allowed San Diego State to take their biggest lead at 47 to 40 and was looking like the Aztecs may just run away with it again.
Then something happened….. The Washington Huskies played zone for the first time all season and allowed the Huskies to go on a 8-0 run to take the lead at 50 to 49. San Diego State would go on a 4 minute scoreless draught and the zone seemed to stifle the Aztecs.
The lead would be short lived as former UW prospect Myles Byrd hit his first three-pointer of the season to retake the lead. The Huskies would also cough up the ball a couple of times that allowed the Aztecs to score in transition.
Foul Trouble would also be an issue for the Huskies Big men early in the 2nd half. Braxton Meah picked up his 4th foul with 15 minutes to go and Franck Kepnang would pick up his 4th foul with 12 minutes left. Kepnang would stay on the floor but Jaedon LeDee would become even harder to guard.
San Diego State would pull out to a 59 to 55 lead until Paul Mulcahy pulled off another YMCA move that was eventually called a goal tend.
A costly foul on Moses Wood gave the Aztecs a 4-point play after the Micah Parish three-pointer went down. Washington would pull back within three after Sahvir Wheeler’s 2nd scoop and score of the game and finished off the 3-point play to pull within 3 at 63-60.
The Aztecs would extend their lead back to 7 at 71 to 64 after Jaedon LeDee hit 3 consecutive jumpers, two from the exact same spot. San Diego State would go on another 7-0 run in just 30 seconds to give the Aztecs their largest lead of the game at 12. It was looking bleak down 78 to 66 with 5:12 left for the Huskies.
It was danger zone for the Huskies until Washington went to the full court press. Down 9 with 3 minutes left, the Huskies went on a 15-5 run in the final minutes. The full court press was able to generate a couple of turnovers, including a 5 second call and two jump balls to get back in the game.
With 5 seconds left in regulation, the Huskies forced a jump ball down only 1 and a chance to win the game.
The Huskies went to Paul Mulcahy with the post up and had his shot blocked but a late call from referee Tony Padilla gave Mulcahy two shots and a chance to win the game. Mulcahy missed the first pressure shot but was able to make the 2nd to force overtime.
Dawgs Get Off to a Hot Start Overtime
The Huskies would get off to a hot start in overtime, making their first 5/6 Field goal attempts. Keion Brooks, who was relatively quiet most of the game scored 8 points in OT to help UW get out to a 3 point lead with a minute left.
San Diego State would not go away and Jaedon LeDee was too much all game for the Huskies. Braxton Meah fouled out with under 2 minutes left and Ledee would go on to scoring 10 points in Overtime.
Moses Wood would hit another clutch jumper from the right elbow to give the Huskies a 3 point lead, after hitting the eventual game winner versus Xavier. Jaedon LeDee would hit two more free throws to get the Aztecs back to within 1 point with 1:13 left in overtime.
Paul Mulcahy went back to the well with another post up that just rimmed off. The ball was poked out of bounds which was originally called Washington ball but a replay review over ruled the call after seeing the ball going off of Mulcahy last.
With Kepnang and Meah on the bench, the Huskies decided to put the stout 6’5 Anthony Holland on Jaedon LeDee but LeDee was able to score rather easily to give the Aztecs a 1 point lead at 98 to 97.
Paul Mulcahy would have another chance to clinch the game but missed a runner in the lane that looked to have been fouled but no call. Anthony Holland was able to get the rebound and kicked it out to Keion Brooks. As Brooks was looking to spin, Brooks had the ball stolen by Lamont Butler, who had 5 steals in the game and none bigger than this one. Reece Waters made two more free throws with 10 seconds left to extend the lead to 100-97.
The Huskies would have one last attempt to tie the game down 3. Sahvir Wheeler drove the lane and kicked it out to Moses Wood who had a good look from the corner but rimmed out. Wood was clearly fouled but was not called and could have given Wood 3 attempts to tie the game.
The Huskies fall by a score of 100-97 and move to 3-2 on the season but put up a gritty effort that saw 27 assists on 36 field goal attempts but had no answer for LeDee.
Despite the missed free throw at the end of regulation, Paul Mulcahy set a career-high with 13 assists (1 turnover) and chipped in 11 points as well. Keion Brooks finished with 22 points and 6 rebounds but did not get another shot after scoring 8 straight in Overtime.
Moses Wood and Sahvir Wheeler added 18 and 19 points respectively and had 5 Huskies in double figures but not enough to claim the victory.
The story of the game would be Jaedon Ledee (34 points, 16 boards), points off turnovers (20), offensive rebounds (17 for SDSU) and 3-point shooting but the Huskies still had multiple chances to win. UW shot 7-23 from 3 (30%) but did finally get Moses Wood to knock a few down.
There are no moral victories but the Huskies did move up 7 spots in KenPom to #58, the Highest the Huskies have been in several years. Washington will have over a week to rest up and face former Husky Ja’Raan Brooks on Tuesday November 28th against UC San Diego.