Nahziah Carter scored 18 points and David Crisp added 17 to carry the offense while the UW Huskies (11-4, 2-0 Pac-12) held Utah to a season low in points for their fourth straight that snapped a six-game losing streak in the series.
SALT LAKE CITY – Nahziah Carter scored a career-high 18 points and David Crisp added 17 points, four assists and four steals to lead Washington over Utah 69-53 on Thursday night.
The Huskies (11-4, 2-0 Pac-12) won their first true road game and has now logged four wins in a row, while snapping a six-game losing streak against the Utes.
Here are three impressions.
UW is dominant defensively
The Huskies targeted sharpshooter Sedrick Barefield, who scored 26, 24 and 33 points respectively in the three previous outings and shut down the Pac-12 leader in three-pointers (42). Utah’s senior guard was held to six points on 2-for-10 shooting, including 2 of 8 behind the arc. Washington extended its 2-3 zone with guards Dominic Green and Jaylen Nowell patrolling a lot of ground between the baseline and the top of the key. On a night when Matisse Thybulle had his 59-game streak of at least on steal snapped, the Huskies forced 16 turnovers that resulted in 18 points. Thybulle didn’t get a theft, but he finished with four blocks for the second straight game to share game-high honors with Sam Timmins. The Huskies sacrificed a few entry passes in post while making sure Utah, the Pac-12s’s most prolific three-point attack, converted just 6 of 30 shots behind the arc. UW lost the rebound battle 44-38, but the Huskies got a huge performance inside from Nowell who finished with a career-high 12 boards, including three on the offensive glass.
Contributions throughout the rotation
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Carter and Crisp will deservedly dominate the headlines and receive most of the credit considering they combined for eight 3-pointers and more than half of UW’s points. But Thursday’s win was a collective effort that included large and small contributions from nearly every member of the 9-man rotation. For starters, Timmins played his best game of the season following one of his worst games of the season. In UW’s previous outing, Timmins logged four scoreless minutes and finished with 1 rebound during a blowout win over Washington State. On Thursday, the 6-foot-11 forward had a season-high seven rebounds, a career-high tying four blocks, two steals and four points in 11:33 productive minutes off the bench. Nowell offset a 3-for-14 shooting display with five assists. Green didn’t shoot well (1 of 4), but he had six rebounds and four on the offensive glass. Jamal Bey had a bunch of zeroes next to his name on the stat sheet, but it looks as if the freshman guard has found a spot in the rotation. Perhaps the most significant stat of the night for UW was its 2-for-1 assists (16) to turnover (8) ratio. Coach Mike Hopkins said it’s the first time the Huskies have been able to do that since he took over last season. The obvious blemish on an otherwise superlative night was Hameir Wright’s 0-for-6 shooting on three-pointers. Not sure why the sophomore forward has the green light when he’s made just 3 of 27 this season and 13 of 64 during his career from downtown.
Kudos to Noah Dickerson
Washington’s big man has kept his cool in the past two games while opponents harass him with 2-3 defenders who attack from all angles. Hopkins said “it’s the ultimate sign of respect” when teams make it a priority to stop Dickerson, but it can’t be fun for the all-Pac-12 forward who was held to a season-low four points in his last outing. On Thursday, Dickerson had 7-foot center Jayce Johnson on his hip all night while Utes guards closed in on him every time he got the ball inside. And the referees didn’t assist Dickerson with calls early when he went scoreless in the first half. But he kept his composure and scored seven straight points to start the second half. And Utah’s defense began to loosen up a bit after the break, which allowed Dickerson to convert 5 of 6 field goals for 13 points. He also drew a few fouls and was 3 of 4 on free throws.