The Huskies continue to roll and picked up their eighth straight win thanks to Jaylen Nowell's late-game heroics, David Crisp's red-hot three-point shooting and a stingy defense that shutdown Oregon's perimeter attack.
Washington needed a lot or resolve and a little bit of luck in the final minutes to pull off a late comeback and beat Oregon 61-56 at Matthew Knight Arena.
The Huskies (15-4, 6-0 Pac-12) have won eight straight games and they’re off to their best conference start since the 1983-84 season.
Here are three impressions.
Jaylen Nowell is that dude
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The Huskies were down 56-51 when the sophomore guard took over and carried them to an improbable win that snapped a six-game losing streak against Oregon. It was also Washington’s first win at Matthew Knight Arena where UW had lost the previous seven games.
Nowell scored eight points as the Huskies closed the game with a 10-0 run. He got two points on a layup and canned a three-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game at 56-56.
Then Nowell in the final seconds, pounced on a loose ball and raced ahead for a desperation 3-pointer. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, who committed the turnover, appeared to make contact with Nowell on the shot and the referees called a foul to the chagrin of the 9,464 at Matthew Knight Arena.
Nowell went to the line for the first time and sank all three free throws to put UW on top for good. He connected on 7 of 12 shots from the field, 3 of 4 three-pointers and had six rebounds in 35 minutes.
David Crisp is on a roll
It’s quite uncanny how the senior guard has suddenly and quite shocking improved his three-point accuracy and as an offshoot, changed the narrative about him and this team.
It can’t be overstated how erratic and inconsistent Crisp’s perimeter shooting has been during his 3½ years with the Huskies.
Before the Pac-12 season, he was shooting 29.3 percent (17 of 58) in 13 nonconference games.
After six Pac-12 games, Crisp leads the conference in three-point accuracy while connecting on 55.9 percent (19 of 34).
Aside from an 0-for-3 outing against Stanford, Crisp has made at least three 3-pointers in ever Pac-12 game.
Last night, Crisp hit 4 of 8 three-pointers and connected on 6 of 11 field goals for 18 points. He also had five assists to offset four turnovers in 37 minutes.
Washington needed Crisp’s 3-pointers on a night when Matisse Thybulle was 0 for 4 from downtown and three-point ace Dominic Green was held scoreless and didn’t attempt a shot from long range.
Nowell is Washington’s most valuable player, but Crisp is the team’s most important player.
UW’s defense is unyielding
During its eight-game winning streak, the Huskies have not allowed an opponent to score more than 70 points.
Last night, Washington held Oregon to 56 points, which was the second fewest this season for the Ducks. It was also the lowest scoring game Oregon has had at home this season.
The Huskies flexed their defensive muscle early while racing out to a 13-2 lead while Oregon missed seven of its first eight shots and committed five turnovers.
UW led 27-19 at halftime.
Both teams forced 19 turnovers and finished with 10 steals. Oregon won the rebound battle 22-21. But Washington held the Ducks to 6 of 16 on three-pointers while the Huskies connected on 8 of 20 shots behind the arc. The two extra 3-pointers proved to be the difference in a game decided by five points.