After rolling through its first two exhibitions by a combined score of 185-81, the Washington men’s basketball team faced stiffer competition Sunday in the third of its four games on its foreign tour.
The Huskies, who used their superior size and athleticism during a pair of blowout wins earlier in the week, had to overcome a sluggish second-quarter performance and pulled away after halftime for a 73-59 win in Pistoia, Italy.
Freshman star Isaiah Stewart, who towered over opponents during the previous contests, was finally paired against a frontline that could at least look the 6-foot-9 forward in the eye.
Still, Stewart often bullied his way to the basket while connecting on 10 of 17 shots for a game-high 25 points while junior guard Nahziah Carter added 17 points.
The Husky tandem has led UW in scoring in every game. Stewart is averaging 21.7 points and Carter is scoring 17.7 points per game.
Once again Washington raced out to a big lead and went up 15-4 after Carter’s mid-range jumper.
The Huskies were ahead 21-15 after the first quarter, but faltered defensively in the second and allowed Pistoia cut its deficit to five points (34-29) late in the period.
Stewart and Carter each had 11 points in the first half for Washington, which led 41-34 at the break.
The Huskies began the second half with a 14-3 run to pull away from Pistoia.
During the spurt, Stewart scored on three close-range baskets and Carter capped the run with back-to-back three-pointers for a 55-37 lead.
Washington was up 61-46 after the third period and was never seriously threatened in the fourth.
Washington completes its foreign tour Tuesday in Siena, Italy before returning home Thursday. The game is being streamed online at FloHoops.