How thoroughly did the Washington Huskies dominate the visiting TCU Horned Frogs on Tuesday night?
Consider the following sequence:
After senior guard Andrew Andrews netted a 3-pointer late in the first half, Matisse Thybulle stole the inbounds pass and dished to Donaven Dorsey for an easy layup. The announced crowd of 5,651 enjoyed this. But they cheered even louder when Thybulle thieved yet another pass in the backcourt just seconds later, and it seemed the Hec Edmundson Pavilion rafters might combust when the ball wound up again in Andrews’ hands, and he again hoisted a 3-pointer, and the ball again splashed through the net after bouncing high off the back iron.
That frantic, eight-point burst, accomplished in a span of 26 seconds, provided a snapshot of the havoc UW exerted upon its overmatched opponent. The Huskies slapped away entry passes, forced turnovers (26 of them), piled up steals (16 of them) and dunked a bunch of times, and so they won, 92-67, against the only nonconference Power 5 team that will visit Hec Ed this season.
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The Horned Frogs, playing without two key players because of injury, simply had little chance against the athletically superior Huskies. Washington led 18-6 after the first eight minutes — it held TCU scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes during that run — and finished the first half on a 26-4 run to lead 57-23.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he emphasized to his team this week that the Horned Frogs typically begin games well — he said they had outscored opponents, 60-31, in the first four or five minutes of the first half — and the Huskies seemed to respond to the challenge.
“We knew they were going to come in with a lot of intensity,” said senior guard Andrew Andrews, who led the Huskies with 32 points, “so we just wanted to try and match that or beat it, and I think we did that.”
The numbers were staggering: The Huskies forced 17 TCU turnovers in the first half, 11 of them steals. They outrebounded the Horned Frogs, 24-6, in the first half. They shot 48.4 percent from the floor and made 11 of their 24 3-point attempts — numbers deflated a bit by a flurry of second-half misses by UW’s bench players. The Huskies made 61.8 percent of their field-goal attempts before halftime.
Asked if that’s the best the Huskies can possibly play, Andrews replied: “I don’t know, because I don’t want to put a limit on what we can do, but I think that’s what our standard is supposed to be. When we talk Husky basketball in practice, when we do drills, that’s what it’s supposed to be.”
Andrews, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, made 6 of 6 from 3-point range and added five assists and four steals.
“Anyone that ever wants to be critical of Andrew, they better change their mind, because he set the table from the beginning on the defensive end,” Romar said. “He picked up the guys up the floor. He was engaged. He ran the team. He took shots. He played exceptional basketball.”
Freshman forward Noah Dickerson (11 points, three steals), freshman guard David Crisp (11 points, two steals) and sophomore guard Dorsey (10 points) joined Andrews in double figures, and freshman guard Dejounte Murray had nine points, six rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes.
Washington (6-2) led by as many as 42 points in the second half, which began with an alley-oop dunk by Marquese Chriss on the Huskies’ first possession.
TCU (4-4) never threatened to make it interesting, and the Huskies finished with their deep reserves on the floor.
“I thought we played with tremendous energy from the outset,” Romar said, “and stayed that way for a large portion of the game.”