The Grizzlies had a chance to tie the score and possibly send the game into overtime, but Michael Oguine missed a free throw and UW went on to a 66-63 win.

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Somehow, the Washington men’s basketball team won a game in which it allowed 20 offensive rebounds, had 18 turnovers and finished with just four assists.

The Huskies blew a 12-point lead and certainly didn’t play their best game Friday night, but they held Montana to just one point in the final four minutes and escaped with a 66-63 nonconference win in front of 5,915 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

“These guys, they find a way,” coach Mike Hopkins said. “When we had to get a stop, I don’t think they scored a field goal in the last four minutes. Deion Sanders (Hopkins’ nickname for Matisse Thybulle) was incredible back there. David Crisp had six rebounds.


Washington @ USC, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

“But for the most part they found a way. I can’t tell you how proud I am. Obviously, we still got a long way to go before January. We’ve won some close games, and we were lucky tonight that we didn’t let one bite us. But I got to give our guys a lot of credit. They made the plays they had to.”

Washington had a nine-point lead with 11:58 left, but fell behind 62-61 at the 4:16 mark.

Freshman guard Jaylen Nowell, who finished with a team-high 13 points, put the Huskies ahead with a jumper with 3:05 left. It was the game’s last field goal, and neither team generated much of an offensive attack the rest of the way.

Junior guard David Crisp converted 1 of 2 free throws with 11.2 seconds left to push UW’s lead to two points.

On the ensuing possession, Crisp knocked Michael Oguine to the floor and sent the Grizzlies’ junior guard to the line with 5.2 seconds left. He drained his first free throw but missed the second attempt.

Crisp collected the rebound and passed to Thybulle, who was fouled.

Thybulle made both free throws with 1.5 seconds left, but Montana still had a chance to tie the game.

But the Huskies knocked away a long inbounds pass, and the Grizzlies never attempted a shot as time expired.

Washington improved to 6-1 in games decided by 10 points or less.

“It’s just trusting each other,” said Hameir Wright, who finished with 11 points and five rebounds. “We trust each other to make plays.”

For the second straight game, the Huskies finished with double-digit steals (12) and blocks (11).

Hopkins relied on just seven players, and each scored at least eight points.

The game also featured an emotionally charged reunion between Crisp and Montana junior Ahmad Rorie. They’re childhood friends and former teammates who led Clover Park High in Lakewood to a Class 2A state title as freshmen.

Crisp finished with nine points, six rebounds and four steals to offset five turnovers, and Rorie had a game-high 19 points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes.

The Grizzlies also received 17 points from Jamar Akoh and 14 from Bobby Moorehead.

The teams combined for 38 turnovers in a game that included nine lead changes and three ties.

Washington built a 16-6 lead with 13:59 left in the first half because of its defense, which shut down Montana for 5 minutes and 38 seconds. During the drought, the Grizzlies were 0 for 10 on field goals, committed five turnovers and UM coach Travis DeCuire drew a technical foul for arguing with an official.

The Huskies led 20-8 midway through the first half when the momentum shifted.

Down 26-17, Montana used a 12-0 run to erase UW’s lead and go ahead 29-26 with 2:37 remaining before the break.

Nowell sank a short jumper before the buzzer that put the Huskies up 33-32 at halftime.

Washington (10-3) heads into Friday’s Pac-12 opener at USC with its best start since the 2014-15 season, when it began 11-2.