Washington basketball advances to the final of the Diamond Head Classic after taking care of host school Hawaii, 72-61 in the tournament semifinal
Washington basketball took a 37-20 lead into halftime after a Nahziah Carter buzzer-beating three. The Huskies started slow at the beginning of both halves, but finished strong to take care of the Rainbow Warriors. Washington’s biggest win was limiting Hawaii from the field, as they shot 26% from the floor, including 9/39 from behind the three-point line.
Isaiah Stewart dominated down low yet again, recording 26 points and 13 rebounds, which was good for his fourth straight double-double. Jaden McDaniels had just nine points on the night, but he matched Stewart with 13 rebounds of his own. Quade Green added on 11 points, and Carter had 10.
Washington still needs to work on limiting the turnovers, as they gave the ball away 17 times on the night. The Huskies only have two real ball handlers in Green and Elijah Hardy, and whenever they don’t have one of them on the floor, the offense seems to stall. The Huskies have just one more game before Pac-12 play begins, and they need to get the turnovers under control if they want to have a shot at the conference title.
Washington had only three blocks on the night, but their interior defense was outstanding, defenders were contesting every shot and not giving up any easy points. It wasn’t just Stewart, who ended up fouling out late, but Hameir Wright and McDaniels were excellent down low. The Huskies’ tough interior defense was a big reason Hawaii threw up so many threes.
The Huskies take on the Houston Cougars in the championship game on Christmas night. The Cougars beat Portland and Georgia Tech to reach the championship, and currently have a record of 9-3.