The University of Washington Huskies (1-0) overcame a dismal first half that was due to the team being hit with a dose of amnesia according to head coach Mike Hopkins when it came to executing the Huskies offense against a zone defense. The difference between this Husky team is patience and undying belief in team defense even when the offense is not clicking.
The game was a tough physical contest that saw two double fouls in the first half and left Hopkins with few big man choices as Noah Dickerson and Hameir Wright were tagged with three fouls each in the first half. Western Kentucky Center Charles Bassey a projected top ten pick in the upcoming NBA draft was part of the reason and the other was poor fundamental defense and downright lack of execution on offense.
The combination of poor fundamental defense from the three-point line and poor field goal shooting saw Western Kentucky erase an eight-point Husky lead at the 5:37 mark and finish the half with 17-0 run to finish the half and take a 36 to 27 lead into the locker room.
The second half was a true role reversal for the Huskies as they double down on their commitment to defending the three-point shot and attacking the basket. The result was a 12-0 run by the Huskies that saw them take a 40-36 lead with 16:27 left in the game. Bassey took the matter into his own hands and brought the Hilltoppers back into the game and gave the visitors their last lead of the game at 46 to 44 with 12:25 left in the game.
Back to back baskets by Jaylen Nowell and Dickerson gave the lead back to the Huskies only to see Marek Nelson tie the game at 48 all. Dickerson scored six of the Huskies next 10 points and the 10 point lead balloned to 18 points as the Huskies started the regular season with a win.
● Matisse Thybulle 100th made his career start, has started every game of his career at UW
● David Crisp 100th career game
● David Crisp, with 13 points moves into 33rd all time in UW scoring at 1,080 career points
● Jaylen Nowell with 17 points, this is Jaylen’s 31st career game with 10+ points, and first this season
● David Crisp with 13 points, this is Crisp’s 59th career game with 10+ points and his 2nd in a row
● David Crisp with 7 assists, this is his 13th career game with 5+ assists and his first this season
● Matisse Thybulle with 6 blocks, this is his 12th career game with 3+ blocks, and his 2nd in a row
● Noah Dickerson with 18 points, this is his 61st career game with 10+ points, and 9th in a row dating back to last season
● Matisse Thybulle’s 6 blocks are his most since against Omaha in his Junior season
● Matisse Thybulle has now recorded a steal in 47 straight games