It took awhile but the Washington Huskies shook a long layoff, opening 2019 with a 84-76 comeback victory over the Cal State Fullerton Titans Tuesday night at the Alaska Air Arena.
Six Huskies scored in double figures, led by Jaylen Nowell’s 20. UW ends its nonconference schedule at 9-4 and will host Washington State on Saturday in the Pac-12 opener.
The game began with both teams missing shots and making turnovers. The Titans (4-10) broke out of their funk first, leading by as many 10 points in the first half behind Jackson Rowe and Kahlil Ahmad.
Rowe and Ahmad finished the first half with 13 and 12 points as the Titans held a 42-34 advantage at the half.
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It didn’t look any better for UW to start the second half. An early 6-0 run by Fullerton gave the Titans a 50-37 lead with 17:13 left in the game. Washington started the first 4:16 of the first half by shooting just 1-of-5 from the field.
Washington would come alive in just before the under-12 timeout with a 9-0 run in 2:15 minute span. That shrank the once 13-point lead shrink to four thanks to baskets by David Crisp and Nowell. That run would become a 13-1 advantage as Fullerton missed six shots before Amel Kuljuhovic broke the streak to give the Titans a 53-50 lead.
The hustle from the Huskies would pick up, too. Nowell dove for a loose ball that to led to Crisp draining a game-tying 3-pointer to knot the score at 53.
Washington led, 60-59, after a three-point play by Nahziah Carter. It was the first UW lead since early in the first half.
Fullerton rallied to force a tie at 66, but a Dominic Green 3-pointer triggered a 15-point explosion over the final three and half minutes, allowing UW to escape with the victory.