While they are not ready to declare this season a success with more than three-quarters of the season still left to play, the University of Washington Huskies Mens basketball team players ( 12-4 overall, 2-1 Pac-12) have a twinkle in their eyes and a definite swagger to their walk
And why not the Huskies are coming off an impressive come from behind win over the Washington State Cougars ( 8-7, 0-3) Saturday afternoon in Pullman. The Huskies struggled offensive from the field the first half and made just 12-32 shots for a 37.5% shooting percentage.
The Huskies were just as bad from the free throw line making one of two shots. While the 50% percentage sounds good, rarely can a team win a basketball game attempting two free throws.
Husky head coach Mike Hopkins halftime adjustment of isolating his top offensive players against the weaker Cougar defenders turned the tide on the Huskies shooting woes as the Dawgs shot a scorching 75% from the field.
“We get a 10-point lead and it’s like Layup City to the basket,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said after the game. “We go zone and it’s still layups. They isolated our studs and drove them to the basket. And it wasn’t like they were shooting jump shots, they were getting layups.
We talk to this team, you’re not going to beat anybody giving up 75 percent shooting in a half. That’s very difficult to do.”
The Huskies first lead of the game came with just 3:21 remaining in the game on a David Crisp layup but the lead was short-lived as consecutive baskets from Robert Franks and Jeff Pollard gave lead back to the Cougars. Crisp gave the Huskies the lead with another layup at the 1:46 mark and the Huskies hung on for their second conference win of the season matching last season total.
Despite his team’s struggles, Husky head coach Mike Hopkins was pleased with the victory.
“It’s just what makes college sports so great,” Hopkins said. “It brings you back, so many great games, Syracuse and Georgetown and those great rivalries. You know to be able to go out there and play against an incredible opponent in your own state and to be able to get a victory, it just feels incredible.”