Jamal Bey scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Washington Huskies (3-11, 2-7 Pacific-12 Conference) to an 83-79 win over the Utah Utes (6-7, 3-6) Sunday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena. Bey was 11 of 11 from the field and was perfect from the three-point line connecting on all four of his attempts and scored the game’s last eight points. The Huskies have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Bey was also impactful on the defensive end of the court causing a steal and grabbing a rebound in two of Utah’s last three processions. Erik Stevenson scored 18 points for UW, including a three-point play with under a minute to go that gave the Huskies their final lead at 81-79.
The Huskies finished the game with a 7-0 run shutting down the Utes the last 1:17 of the game. Both teams shot 51% for the game but the Huskies made five more 3-pointers and scored 22 points off 16 Utah turnovers. Quade Green added 20 points, hitting 4 of 5 from distance.
Branden Carlson led the Utes with a career-high 18 points, Riley Battin and Timmy Allen scored 15 each, and Alfonso Plummer 13. Allen also dished 10 assists, becoming the second Utah player – behind Carlson on Thursday – to record a double-double this season.
BIG TAKE AWAY
Head coach Mike Hopkins said after last week’s win over Colorado that in a normal season the team would just be beginning conference play. It has taken the coaching staff and plays to finally get on the same page. Winning is a learned habit that takes trust and commitment. The commitment has been there and the trust not so much.
Hard for a team to trust each other when you are losing. A recommitment meeting between the players before the UCLA game saw a dramatic shift in the team. A close loss to the Bruins
( 76-81) cemented the team’s commitment and belief in each other. The result is a two-game win streak and a belief in Hopkin’s system.