The Washington Huskies ( 21-12) season will continue as the Dawgs held off Boise State (23-9) to advance to the second round of the NIT Tournament Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies will play at Saint Mary’s (29-5) on Monday at 8:00 PM PST.
Freshman Jaylen Nowel scored 25 points and Matisse Thybulle chipped in 18 points as both players had 14 second-half points. Boise States Chandler Hutchinson scored a game-high 39 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Hutchinson scored 28 of 39 points in the second half and helped erased a 17 point deficit and scored the Broncos’ final seven points in a 9-2 run and a tie-up on a Washington inbounds pass gave Boise State possession, trailing 77-74 with three seconds left. Lexus Williams’ potential tying 3-point attempt was blocked and his second 3 was off as time expired.
Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins was asked about the play in his post-game press conference:
“You’re going to give me a heart attack right now. To go over that right now. I almost had a cardiac there. You know what, our guys have been very aggressive. I was so happy the way they came out with energy and aggressiveness. We built the tempo and with forty seconds to go, we said no fouls. Just do not foul. They are going to try and take it, make a two or a three and take the ball out. We need the clock. You know, we were still being a little bit too aggressive.
We were stopping the clock, putting them on the line, and letting them set up their defense. All the things that you don’t want to have happened. But, for the most part, we found a way to win. It wasn’t pretty. Like I said before the NIT is an energy tournament and our guys, I thought, played their hearts out. Both teams did. It wasn’t perfect but we played good enough defense in the first half to get that lead and it carried us to the win.”