Washington basketball took down the Ball State Cardinals 85-64 in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic
Washington basketball scored their most points of a year in a half, dropping 51 in the first, and the Husky offense was cooking early behind five-star freshmen Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, as they jumped out to a 51-40 lead at halftime.
Ball State cut the lead to five points early in the second half, but the Huskies went on a 13-5 run while Ball State’s leading scorer and rebounder Tahjai Teague was dealing with foul trouble. He finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals.
Ishmael El-Amin was the second-leading scorer for Ball State on the night, getting off to a hot start in the first half, scoring all 11 of his first-half points as part of the Cardinals’ first 18. However, the Huskies defense keyed in on him, and he only scored two points in the second half. The Cardinals ended up only scoring 24 points in the second half. Also, Washington was able to allow Ball State to shoot 28.7% behind the arc when they have been averaging just under 50% on the season.
McDaniels was the Huskies’ leader on the night with 22 points, followed by Quade Green with 21. The Huskies were hitting consistently from behind the three-point line, and both players hit four threes in the game. While they tore up the perimeter, Stewart couldn’t be stopped on the inside, finishing with 19 points. He was the reason Teague got into foul trouble, but the Cardinals tried triple-teaming Stewart to contain him.
The Huskies got over the turnover bug for the better part of the night, giving the ball away just twice in the first half. They got off to a slow start in the second half and ended up giving the ball away 10 times in the game.
The Huskies move on to face the tournament’s host, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors who beat the UTEP Miners in the last game of the night. After their 2-0 week, the Huskies also moved up one spot to #21 in the AP Poll.