At KeyArena, the Huskies extended their winning streak against the Redhawks to 12 games and lead the series 28-4.
The 32nd meeting between Washington and Seattle University looked a lot like several previous basketball battles between the city’s Division I men’s basketball teams — a dominant Huskies win.
The Redhawks kept it close for a few minutes at the start, but UW overwhelmed its neighborhood rival with a bevy of highlight dunks, momentum-swinging three-pointers and a suffocating defense that produced a 94-72 nonconference victory in front of 6,163 at KeyArena.
“From start to finish, our guys played good basketball,” coach Lorenzo Romar said, describing the performance as Washington’s most “complete” game of the season.
The Huskies (7-5) have bounced back from a four-game losing streak with three straight wins and put together their best 40-minute effort in a season filled with highs and lows.
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“I think we’ve made progress,” Romar said. “As I’ve said before, I thought we made progress in the Nevada game in a loss. So it’s been coming. I thought in our last game before tonight it was more evident and tonight it was very evident that this team is making progress.”
While Thursday night’s performance in the Elgin Baylor Classic counts as a high moment for the Huskies this season, it was simply more of the same in a rivalry that Washington has dominated since it began in 1953.
The Huskies extended their winning streak against the Redhawks to 12 games — and eight in a row since SU returned to D-I status — to lead the series 28-4.
“I didn’t feel like we gave them a fight,” SU coach Cameron Dollar said. “It’s embarrassing. But it is the truth.”
The trio of Noah Dickerson (21 points and career-high 17 rebounds), Markelle Fultz (18 points and six assists) and David Crisp (16 points, seven assists and a personal-best five three-pointers) led Washington and produced many of the highlights that had the crowd on its feet.
“It’s cool,” Dickerson said. “I’m trying to get that 20 and 20. I was close. Next time. There’s many more games to play this season so you never know.”
It was a breakthrough outing for Dickerson, who sank his first three-pointer of the season.
However, Crisp and Fultz provided most of the fireworks for UW.
Early in the second half, Fultz stole a pass from Morgan Means and tossed the ball to Crisp to start a fast break. Crisp had a step on Means as they raced to the rim before flipping the ball over his shoulder to Fultz who flushed an alley-oop layup over Means.
On UW’s next possession, Crisp connected with Fultz again with a pass at the rim that Fultz turned into a highlight dunk.
The baskets were part of a 16-2 run that turned a relatively close game into a rout and put the Huskies up 61-40 with 15:30 left.
The Huskies had a season-high 22 assists on 31 baskets.
“I still don’t think we’re playing our best basketball,” said Fultz, who thrilled the crowd with two spectacular blocks and a windmill jam late in the game. “We still have a lot of stuff that we need to work on. … We’re improving. I would say that. But I don’t think we’re where we should be.”
The Redhawks (7-6) leaned heavily on senior guard Brendan Westendorf, who finished with 17 points.
With forwards Malik Dime, Sam Timmins and Dickerson, the Huskies stymied Aaron Menzies, who was hampered with foul trouble and had nine points. He finished with more fouls (four) than rebounds (three).
“It was a huge task because they go to him a lot and he’s a big-bodied guy,” said Dickerson, who had three blocks. “We were told to just don’t give him any angles and three-quarter him. When he catches it, stay straight up and make him finish over us and Malik can go get him at the top because that’s what Malik does.”
Fultz started the game in foul trouble after picking up two early ones and the Huskies were out of sorts in the opening minutes. The Redhawks controlled the action and built a 16-9 lead while the UW star sat on the bench.
The momentum turned to the Huskies when Crisp canned back-to-back three-pointers. Washington continued surging when Timmins and Dominic Green (10 points) flushed dunks on consecutive plays.
Crisp nailed another three-pointer that put the Huskies up 23-20 and gave them a lead they did not relinquish.
“We’ve got to play better in those situations,” SU’s Dollar said. “Give ourselves a chance to win the game. Tonight we didn’t do that. That’s what’s disappointing.”