Washington basketball went down early against Utah State, but behind excellent defense and a balanced offensive attack, they advanced to the Round of 32 to play the #1 seed in the Midwest region, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Using a press defense, Utah State was able to get within one point with nine and a half minutes left in the game. Sophomore Nahziah Carter came off the bench and drained two clutch threes to make the score 60-53. The Aggies were not able to get the score inside seven points for the rest of the game.
Senior guard David Crisp fouled out with just under nine minutes to play, and after that, the Huskies finished strong, outscored Utah State 13-3 in the remaining four and a half minutes of the game to make the final score 78-61.
Washington basketball played excellent on both sides of the ball, shooting 49% from the field while Utah State shot 35.2%. The plan for the Huskies was to take the ball to the basketball especially giving it to forward Noah Dickerson who led them with 20 points. He shot 7/13 from the field along with going 6/6 at the foul line. Also, Dickerson led the Huskies in rebounding with 12. Another key was Dickerson had only one foul in the game.
Besides Dickerson, the Huskies had three other players in double digits. Jaylen Nowell, the Pac-12 Player of the Year finished with 19 points. Carter finished with 13, and Matisse Thybulle had 10 points, including two threes. His defense was outstanding as usual, he finished with five steals and three blocked shots.
Utah State was led by redshirt freshman guard Brock Miller, who had 13 points. Freshman center Neemias Queta, who was named Mountain West Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year, finished 11 points and nine rebounds for the Aggies.
Washington basketball team was able to play good defense against Sam Merrill, who finished with 10 points, which all came in the second half. Merrill was honored as the Mountain West Player of the Year averaging 20.9 points a game.