Washington fell behind early and never seriously threatened Auburn in a much-anticipated top-25 clash.
Here are three quick impressions after No. 25 Washington’s 88-66 defeat at No. 11 Auburn on Friday.
The Huskies fell to 1-1.
DEFENSIVE MISCUES OUTSIDE AND INSIDE
The Huskies aren’t going to win many games – and they certainly won’t beat a good team on the road – when they give up 12 three-pointers and 17 offensive rebounds.
Coach Mike Hopkins knew the Tigers are a prolific three-point shooting team that connected on 18 of 38 shots behind the arc in Tuesday’s season opener. Against UW, the Tigers connected on eight three-pointers in the first half while taking a 48-30 lead into the break.
Auburn finished 12 of 31 on three-pointers. Only Virginia Tech (15) converted more threes against UW last season.
Once the Huskies adjusted the defense to shut down Auburn’s perimeter game, the Tigers went to work inside and outrebounded UW 39-21. The Tigers’ 17 offensive rebounds led to 22 second-chance points.
TOO MUCH 1-ON-1 OFFENSIVELY
For the second straight game, Noah Dickerson was negated in the first half due to foul trouble. Unlike Tuesday’s opener when he scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, the all-Pac-12 forward never truly recovered Friday against Auburn and finished with 12 points in 16 minutes before fouling out.
Dickerson’s absence negatively impacted UW, which looked disjointed and couldn’t keep pace with Auburn.
Without Dickerson, the Huskies resorted to 1-on-1 offense and the Tigers pounced all over them and forced 18 turnovers that resulted in 30 points.
Washington shot a high percentage (55.6) and connected on 6 of 14 three-pointers, but the Huskies had 25 fewer field-goal attempts because of their turnovers and Auburn’s offensive rebounds.
UW had 10 assists on 25 field goals.
NAZ CARTER PROVIDED A SPARK
The highly anticipated matchup between top-25 teams – only the second time a ranked Auburn team hosted a ranked nonconference opponent – attracted a sellout crowd and more than 20 NBA scouts representing 17 teams.
There were plenty of NBA prospects on the floor, but sophomore guard Nahziah Carter appeared to be the only UW player who was comfortable in the raucous environment.
Granted he scored 14 of his team-high tying 16 points in the second half when the Huskies were down by 20 or more. But Carter constantly attacked offensively while connecting on 4 of 7 shots and 7 of 9 free throws.
Sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell also scored 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting, but his six turnovers put a lot of stress on UW’s offense.
Senior guard David Crisp had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, one assist and three turnovers in 29 minutes.
Senior guard Matisse Thybulle, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year winner, had two steals and two blocks. However, his biggest impact came on the offensive end where he had five assists.