The Huskies got off to yet another slow start offensively, but managed to literally double their first half point total in the second half to beat Sacramento State (6-3) at home in Seattle.
Seniors Matisse Thybulle and Noah Dickerson both scored 12 points, while sophomore Nahziah Carter came off the bench to score 11 points. The low offensive output in the first half had two main factors. First, Sacramento State played tight defense in the paint and left no breathing room for Noah Dickerson to contribute much offensively. Second, given the Hornets’ defensive strategy to take away Dickerson, that left the three point line wide open to UW’s shooters… who promptly went 0-11 from beyond the arc. At one point Sacramento State held a 9 point lead and kept the Huskies from scoring for nearly eight minutes before the Dawgs climbed back into the game and ended the half down 21-19.
The second half was a different story for the Huskies, who came out fired up and went on an 11-0 run that brought life back into the game. It was really the Dawgs’ 2-3 zone defense that was the difference maker, as they forced Sacramento State into 21 turnovers, resulting in 24 points. The Hornets were held to 19 points and shot just 13.6% in the second half.
Once the threes started falling in the second half, Sacramento State had to respect the deep ball and defend the perimeter, easing the pressure on the interior. Once that was done, the Dawgs capitalized on easy transition buckets. Despite only hitting on 3-19 three pointers in the game, the Huskies were able to score 38 points in the second half and walk away with the win.
Dickerson got into some foul trouble early, and received his fourth foul with about 10 minutes to go in the game. Sophomore Hamir Wright, as well as Carter and Sam Timmins really stepped up defensively to cover Dickerson’s time on the bench. Wright did an excellent job limiting the Hornets interior scoring, while Carter was aggressive on both ends of the floor, and also contributed offensively.
The Dawgs are now 8-4 on the season and undefeated at home (6-0). They’ll get a long break over the holidays and play their next game against Cal State Fullerton on January 1st (after the Rose Bowl).