Jaylen Nowell's 25 points and Matisse Thybulle's 18 led the scoring for the Huskies, who needed the whole game to finally put away the Redhawks.

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If David Crisp is the self-proclaimed Energizer Bunny, then Jaylen Nowell should call himself The Closer. The standout freshman guard scored 11 of the final 15 points for the Washington men’s basketball team, which held off Seattle University for an 89-84 victory that extended the Huskies winning streak to 13 straight against their cross-city rival. It’s the second time this season first-year coach Mike Hopkins has leaned heavily on Nowell at the end of a close game. And once again, the kid delivered. “He’s just a winner,” Hopkins said. “He’s got winning DNA. He wants the ball. He performs. It’s like the Belmont game where you could see it in his eyes. As a coach, sometimes you’ve just got to walk away and let it go because he’s feeling it.” Nowell tallied a career-high 32 points including the go-ahead basket in a season- opening win against Belmont. In front of 6,428 at Alaska Airlines Arena on Friday afternoon, Nowell finished with a game-high tying 25 points and took over in the final minutes of a close contest. It was an emotional day for the former Garfield High standout, whose father Mike was an assistant coach at Seattle U for the 2014-15 season, then passed away in May 2015. “Very emotional,” Nowell said. “But I try not to let my emotions get the best of me. I just go out ready to compete for my guys, my brothers.” Nowell, who was 6 of 13 from the field, closed out the Redhawks at the free-throw line, where he converted 12 of 13. Washington made 19 straight free throws after starting 6 of 11. Seattle U was 16 of 21 on free throws. Washington’s 2-3 zone defense surrendered 12 three-pointers while forcing 18 turnovers that resulted in 21 points. “For the most part down the stretch when we had to get stops — like the most important stops — they did,” Hoplkins said. “We’re learning.” The Huskies surged ahead by 10 points midway in the first half and led for 37 minutes and 42 seconds, but they had difficulty pulling away from the Redhawks. Washington was up 38-36 at halftime and neither team led by more than seven points the rest of the way. With 55 seconds remaining, Seattle U cut its deficit to 83-82 when sophomore guard Matej Kavas canned a short jumper. Nowell then drove to the rim and drew a foul on 7-foot-3 center Aaron Menzies that sent him to the line. Nowell converted both free throws to put UW up by three with 32.9 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Washington switched to a man-to-man defense that trapped SU freshman guard Aaron Nettles on the sideline and forced a turnover. Nowell recovered the loose ball before being fouled and making a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining. “Just come out and get the stop, that’s really all we wanted,” said Nowell, who capped the scoring with a pair of fouls shots with five seconds left. “No open threes. No nothing. We came out and we executed that very well.” Washington (3-2) received 18 points and five steals from Matisse Thybulle and 16 points from Crisp, who needed to log a season-high 39 minutes because backup guard Michael Carter III is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist. “I can go forever,” Crisp said. “I’m the Energizer Bunny. I wasn’t tired at all. Whatever Hop needs me to do to help these guys get a win, I’m there.” Kavas finished with 25 points, Menzies tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Jordan Hill and Josh Hearlihy each had 16 points for the Redhawks who fell to 2-4. Washington’s five-point victory over Seattle U was the slimmest margin of victory during its 13-game winning streak. “I’ve coached too long to be happy with losses,” Redhawks coach Jim Hayford said. “Mike is building a great program here. We’re trying to build a great program. What I like is that everybody got a great game.” Both coaches would like to continue the rivalry between the city’s Division I teams, which began in 1953. (The series was suspended between 1980 and 2009 when the Redhawks dropped to Division II.) And Friday’s outcome seemingly indicates Seattle U is closer to beating UW for the first time since 1978. “I certainly hope so on my side of the equation, but I also have tremendous respect for Mike,” Hayford said. “I believe he’s going to build a team that’s playing for national championships. If we win, it’s going to be a great win because we’re going to beat a great opponent.”