Washington Basketball snapped a 13 game losing streak to defeat the Belmont Bruins 86-82. Which player helped Washington win their first? Nowell, Jaylen Nowell
The last victory for the Washington Basketball team occurred on January 18, 2017 against the Colorado Buffalo. That team was led by freshman Markelle Fultz with 37 points to lead the Huskies back from a 17 point deficit. Since that contest, the Huskies had lost the next 13 games.
That was then. This is now. On November 9, 2017, the new Washington Basketball team was led by freshman Jaylen Nowell’s 32 points in a come from behind win. The Huskies had fallen behind by as many as nine points in the game, and never led until 2:24 remaining in the game when Nowell sank a three-pointer to put the Huskies ahead of the Bruins 76-74.
The lead changed hands back and forth until Nowell sank a layup with 32 seconds left, putting the Washington Basketball team ahead to stay 80-79. The score ended up 86-82.
Not pretty, but effective
This was not a pretty game. Belmont jumped ahead 7-1 and then 9-3 before the game slowed down for the Huskies. Belmont reserve guard Nick Hopkins looked like an NBA player from the perimeter, sinking six of ten from the perimeter. But Belmont also had a sneaky way of slipping in a player to the basket from the back door of the 2-3 zone defense. All in all, Coach Hopkins has plenty of film footage from which to instruct his players.
But some things cannot be coached. Guard Matisse Thybulle was deadly in the passing lanes, stealing 5 times. And you cannot coach the offensive output of freshman Jaylen Nowell. He literally took over the game. The second half offense seemed to run through him, as he took 18 shots, nearly a third of the Huskies total 52 shots for the night.
Exciting start, exciting season
In the game, the Washington defense appeared to have a purpose, albeit slipping on their assignments at times. But this was a concerted effort by the Huskies. Despite trailing virtually the entire game, and losing big man Noah Dickerson to foul trouble, the team fought hard.
I though I would be squeamish and disheartened after seeing the Huskies first outing. By all arguments, this will be the team’s worst overall game. But after seeing the defense toughen at the end, and the offense ignite in the second half, I am eager to get more.
This is an exciting team folks. Despite the new scheme and the scarcity of height on the roster, this team will find a way to compete, and win. Winning is not that common with the Washington Basketball team. Who delivered the first? Nowell.