Washington basketball had another rough start offensively against the Utah Utes. They were behind early 17-7 but climbed back into the game because of an 11-2 run, giving the Huskies to lead 33-27 at half-time.
Washington basketball’s outstanding defense was able to hold Utah without a field goal for almost 16 minutes of game time. That was the story of the night, as the Utes ended up shooting 28% for the game, and 33% from behind the three-point line. The Huskies, on the other hand, were better, but not fantastic shooting 40.4% from the field and 20% from behind the arc.
The Washington offense was nothing to write home about, but their defense could have been written to the whole family. The Huskies have some good defenders, plus the best in the land in Matisse Thybulle. On Wednesday night though, they made the Utes feel like there were five Thybulle’s on the floor.
The Huskies contested almost every shot that the Utes put up in the second half. The Huskies had six blocked shots in the game, but it felt like a lot more. If the shots weren’t blocked, they were rushed and the Utes looked panicked throughout the night. The Huskies are the best defensive team in the Pac-12, but they took it to another level on Wednesday.
If the Huskies play anything like that the rest of the way, the college basketball world will be shocked by a fantastic defensive team. If they can play better offense, then who knows how far they will go.
The Dawgs were led by Nahziah Carter, who dropped 12 points off the bench. Noah Dickerson finished second on the team with 11 points, even though he played limited minutes due to foul trouble.
Washington had three other scorers in double digits, all with ten points each in Thybulle, Jaylen Nowell, and David Crisp. Thybulle had four blocked shots to go with six steals as well.
The Utes were led in scoring by Sedrick Barefield whose 12 points all came in the first half. Like most of the Utes, he was absent in the second half. All four of his makes came from behind the arc, and he was the only Ute in double digits.
The final score was 62-45, and the Huskies dominated the Utes 29-18 in the second half, with nine of Utah’s 18 coming after coach Mike Hopkins took all his key players out.
Washington basketball now has a record of 21-5 overall with a conference record of 12-1. Utah falls to an overall record of 14-12, and 8-6 in the conference which puts them in fourth place right now.
The Huskies now face Colorado on Saturday. Colorado lost Wednesday night to the Washington State Cougars 76-74 in Pullman.