An 11-0 run midway through the first half propelled the Washington Huskies ( 13-4, 4-0 Pac-12) to an 80 to 64 win over the Stanford Cardinal (8-9,1-4) and remain undefeated in conference play. The win snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cardinal and saw the Huskies win their sixth game in a row.
The 11-0 run enabled the Huskies to take a 37-24 halftime lead. The Huskies suffocating defense held Stanford marksman KZ Okpala to just four points in the first half. For some unknown and perplexing reason, the Huskies let up on defense and allowed the Cardinal to climb back in the back before finally pulling away. Stanford connected on its first six field goals after the halftime break. While they might have left their defense in the locker room the Dawgs kept their shooting touch and were able to connect on 55 percent of their shots over the final 20 minutes of the second half.
While Jaylen Nowell led the Huskies with 22 points, Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins is encouraged with the Huskies not having to rely on just one or two players to carry the team on offense.
“It could be a different guy every night. I think that’s why we’re 4-0 right now because some guys might have off nights but we’ve got eight or nine real contributors that can go in there and play well, impact the game well with energy, with shots, with whatever it may be,” said Mike Hopkins after the game. “That’s what we’re trying to build. It’s the hardest thing to do and the easiest thing to say.”
In addition to Nowell, three other Huskies recorded double figures in scoring, David Crisp ( 10pts), Dominic Green (11pts) and Nahziah Carter ( 13pts). While he was pleased with his offensive effort Hopkins was disappointed in his team’s defensive effort which saw Stanford’s Okpala score 18 second-half points to finish with 22 points and tied Nowell for game-high honors. After giving up zero fastbreak points to Stanford in the first 20 minutes, the Cardinal had 19 transition points in the second half.
Washington: The Huskies scored 24 points off Stanford turnovers and outscored the Cardinal 32-10 in bench points. While Carter and Green provided the biggest lifts, Washington also got a boost from Sam Timmins, who played a season-high 22 minutes.
Washington picked up its 999th win all-time at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. It’s already the most for any arena in the country. The Huskies will go for win No. 1,000 on Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies host California on Saturday.