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UW Keeps Their Poise, Withstands Late Run For Win Over Seattle

Jaylen Nowell (Photo: Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

“We run Seattle.”

That’s how David Crisp described the feeling of never having lost to cross-city rivals Seattle University – albeit a little tongue-in-cheek – but it’s not as if it was a breeze. 

Washington made it a lot tougher than they needed to, but in the end the Washington Huskies seniors finished the job – with a little help from a super soph. 

Up by as many as 20 in the second half, the Huskies took their foot off the pedal, allowing the Redhawks to come back in a big way. A 19-2 run brought them back to a two-point deficit twice, but UW found their footing and recovered to post a 70-62 win in front of an announced attendance of 6688 Sunday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Jaylen Nowell led Washington (7-3) with 18 points, followed by the 13 points of Noah Dickerson. David Crisp and Dominic Green scored 11 points apiece for the Huskies.

Morgan Means paced Seattle (9-3) with 21 points. Myles Carter added 15 and Delante Jones 10 for the Redhawks.  They were trying for their third big in-state scalp, as the Redhawks had already defeated Eastern Washington and Washington State. 

With 13:18 to play, two Dickerson free throws gave UW their biggest margin of the night – 20 points – at 58-38, finishing a 17-4 run starting the second half.

After that, the Huskies didn’t ‘play the game with respect’ according to UW Head Coach Mike Hopkins.

They started throwing the ball around carelessly. They settled for jump shots. They didn’t close down shooters. And after a sequence of about three minutes where neither team scored a point, the Redhawks started their run.

“There were six or seven, maybe even eight times where in transition we threw it away, unforced turnovers, gambles, risky plays rather than just being solid, Hopkins said. “And you’re talking in a game, six or seven possessions could be 12-14 points, fouls. It was just – I always say you have to respect the game. I felt like we just made a lot of unforced turnovers, careless plays that allowed Seattle U – and you have to give Seattle U a lot of credit, they kept coming back and coming back and stayed with it. Our guys allowed those plays to effect you defensively and you just can’t do that. You just can’t do that in high level D-I.”

“We thought the game was over,” added senior guard Matisse Thybulle. “We just kind of mailed it in. We didn’t treat them with the respect that we had treated them to get that lead and then they came back.”

It began with a three from Means with 8:44 to play. By the 2:04 mark, it was 62-60 Huskies after two made free throws from Carter. The 22-4 extended run brought the Seattle U fans to their feet.

But Washington finished the game on an 8-2 run, going inside to get layins from Dickerson and Green, and then free throws from Crisp and Nowell to seal it. Thybulle also came up big with a deflection and block down the stretch. 

“You lose rhythm, you lose intensity, and you’re not playing the same way you were when you got the lead,” Crisp said. “You turn down the effort and it’s hard to flip the switch so you can’t do that.”

Seattle started the game out on a 7-2 run, hitting two early threes, but it was the Huskies who ended up making the most of their chances from outside in the first half. They were 6-9 from deep and 16-28 overall before intermission.

They were also getting contributions from the bench, as they out-scored the Redhawks 20-2 in that department in the first half. They also out-hustled SU, out-scoring them 11-0 in second-chance points during that same time frame.

But the Redhawks finished on a quick 4-0 run to end the half down 7, as Hopkins was assessed a technical for arguing a clear foul on Nowell at the other end of the court.

“We shared the ball in the first half, the bench came in the game, the ball moved,” said Hopkins. “There was the play at the end where Dominic (Green) got charged with a three point (foul) call and I got the technical so instead of being a 13 point half time lead it ends up being seven and they have momentum going into the locker room. I thought that was a turning point in the game. We were able to come out and I thought we executed, we got in transition, we got some easy baskets, and we just got sloppy. That’s just the bottom line. We have to do a lot better job. We have to have more respect than that in terms of the game and making extra passes and not just throwing the ball all over the gym.”



POST-GAME QUOTES

Matisse Thybulle

What happened to allow SU back into the game?

“We thought the game was over. We just kind of mailed it in. We didn’t treat them with the respect that we had treated them to get that lead and then they came back.”

What allowed you to build that lead?

“Playing hard, playing together. It was pretty simple.”

Is it a concern that you let teams back into games?

“We are learning every game. We keep proving that we can play the right way, we can play with the best teams in the country and we can play to get big leads. It’s just a matter of growing and learning to maintain those stretches for longer.”

On picking his spots to be aggressive…

“I would say it’s learned. I’ve had to learn to stop gambling so much and take so many risks because I was putting my guys under a lot of stress. They had to put out a lot of fires for me. Just learning that and trying to be more under control with what I do and how it effects the other guys. They will never tell me to stop, but I don’t want to keep putting them in tough situations. Doing that and just playing within the game, taking what they give me.”

David Crisp

How difficult was it to get things amped back up again?

“It’s tough because you lose rhythm, you lose intensity, and you’re not playing the same way you were when you got the lead. You turn down the effort and it’s hard to flip the switch so you can’t do that.”

On allowing SU back into the game…

“Keeping guys out of the lane. The first half we did a lot of that. They didn’t get too many drive and kick opportunities. Second half we weren’t stopping the ball in transition like we were doing, guys are getting in the paint, dumping off to guys down low. There’s just no effort there. When there’s effort there, those things don’t happen.”


Mike Hopkins

On the difference between the first 30 minutes and the last 10…

“I just felt like sometimes the tendency is to lay your foot off the gas. There were six or seven, maybe even eight times where in transition we threw it away, unforced turnovers, gambles, risky plays rather than just being solid. And you’re talking in a game, six or seven possessions could be 12-14 points, fouls. It was just – I always say you have to respect the game. I felt like we just made a lot of unforced turnovers, careless plays that allowed Seattle U – and you have to give Seattle U a lot of credit, they kept coming back and coming back and stayed with it. Our guys allowed those plays to effect you defensively and you just can’t do that. You just can’t do that in high level D-I.”

On poise…

“I just didn’t think that we executed a lot of times in transition and late in the game our poise. There is a different kind of poise in a game like this than against Gonzaga and I felt like we rushed it, we panicked, and you never do well when you do that.”

Is it concerning that a veteran team can fall victim to taking the foot off the gas?

“They’re veteran, but they’ve only been with us for about a year and a half. A year and a half with us, you’re trying to get that engrained in their mind about how we’re going to play all the time. The guys, they did for the most part, they played well. We shared the ball in the first half, the bench came in the game, the ball moved. There was the play at the end where Dominic (Green) got charged with a three point (foul) call and I got the technical so instead of being a 13 point half time lead it ends up being seven and they have momentum going into the locker room. I thought that was a turning point in the game. We were able to come out and I thought we executed, we got in transition, we got some easy baskets, and we just got sloppy. That’s just the bottom line. We have to do a lot better job. We have to have more respect than that in terms of the game and making extra passes and not just throwing the ball all over the gym.”

On playing the right way…

“Everyday, it doesn’t matter who you are playing, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing the Lakers. As a coach, you just want to play the right way for long periods of time. That’s all you are trying to do. We have proven that when we do that we can beat anybody but we’ve also proven when it goes the other way it’s the same conversation I am having in here. You have to respect the game. You can’t be bored playing this way. You can’t be bored with what’s working because you haven’t gotten a shot. You have to keep making sure you are attacking where your best opportunities to score. It’s not your shot, it’s out shot and that’s what we are trying to do every day.”

On Noah Dickerson wearing a brace on his knee…

“He’s off and on. He gets in the swimming pool. Obviously he had the knee injury at the beginning of the year. It’s one of those things that is going to be bothersome for him. He’s a tough kid. When they play him like that, even if he’s out there, they front him, they three-quarter him, and we score a lot off of that. We skip it. Matisse (Thybulle) got the bunk on the baseline. Jamal Bey got an and one just off of a misdirection play just because of (Noah Dickerson)’s post-up ability and the way that teams defend him. Having him on the court is huge.”

On Hameir Wright playing well even without scoring…

“He just plays the right way. Plus 15 in 13 minutes. He’s a great defensive player. He plays the right way. He rebounds well. He blocks shots. That’s why we start him. He’s a really good offensive player. I know his numbers don’t show that, but he gave us a lot last year. He’s improving his shot. He’s made some big foul shots in a couple of our games. The thing I told this team is we have a really good team. We have a great bench. It showed with 20 points in the first half. They bring different dynamics. One is an attacker, one is a shooter, we have a big guy, Jamal came in and played well. Our starters are as good as anybody. We have the talent. We have the pieces. If it’s about you, we’re not going to be that good. If it’s about us, we’re going to be and can be great. It’s what we fight for everyday. For the most part they have done it, but they just have moments where they get away from what’s working and the right thing.”

On Bryan Penn-Johnson

“Yeah he hurt his lower right leg. He will be out for six weeks. Unfortunate. He was really getting better in practice, working really hard. A great kid. He was really starting to boom. In practice you started to see some ways where he could really help us. Unfortunate for him, but we will have him back in six to eight weeks.”

On the passing of Rod Jones…

“Rod was a special person. I’ve been here for about a year and a half and academically he did so much for our guys. He was on a lot of our road trips. He was there at Kansas when we played. We were at Kansas and I think we were up 13 and they go on a 12-0 run and cut it to one. We call a timeout and we get in there and I said ‘guys, we’re winning!’ And Rod just comes out like ‘that’s what I’m talking about! We’re going to win this game!’ He was just this guy that gave everything of himself for the school, for the student athletes, and every time you saw him he was just this guy that always brought positive energy. He was always a breath of fresh air. He was a great mentor for our guys and he just did so much for so many people and loved this university. He will be missed. Whenever you lose one of yours, it hurts. He helped a lot of our guys in our program. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”



POST-GAME VIDEOS


Matisse Thybulle and David Crisp



Mike Hopkins


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