Washington head coach Mike Hopkins said that his team needed to come out with more energy and not as flat as they had been in the early going.
You could say mission accomplished.
Led by a team-high 23 points from David Crisp, the Washington Huskies opened Pac-12 Conference play with a win over in-state rival Washington State 85-67 on Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Arena.
Jaylen Nowell scored 20 points and Matisse Thybulle added 17 in the winning effort.
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Washington State rallied with a 6-0 run in the second half; Jervae Robinson’s 3-pointer at the 16:59 mark gave WSU its first lead since early in the game.
But the Huskies answered with a finishing kick the Cougars couldn’t match. UW’s 16-3 run over a 4:39 minute stretch but it out of reach. Aiding the run were Cougars turnovers: For the game they committed 16 which led to 20 Huskies points.
After some back and forth in the early going, the Huskies (10-4, 1-0) finally grabbed the lead after a five-minute stretch when they went on 13-2 run midway through the first half. In that same stretch, the Cougars committed five turnovers, helping the Huskies lead by as much as 13 midway through the first half.
The Cougars (7-7, 0-1) went on 13-2 run of their own as CJ Elleby’s 14 first half points kept them in the ballgame. Wazzu’s first half comeback was also aided by 3-pointers; the Cougars went 6-of-14 from distance in the first half. Elleby scored a game-high 26 in the losing effort for the Cougars.