Huskies Defense Stymies The Utes in 62-45 Victory

Per The University of Washington Press Release…..

SEATTLE (AP) — Nahziah Carter scored 12 points, Washington held Utah to just five second-half field goals, and the Huskies beat the Utes 62-45 on Wednesday night.

The Huskies held the Utes without a field goal for the opening 11:50 of the second half. Parker Van Dyke’s two free throws with 15:12 to play were the only points for Utah until Booth Gach knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:50 remaining.

“We can feel it!  We can all feel it as a team. You just know when they reach a point where they just don’t know what to do anymore.  I don’t know about these guys, but I didn’t even know they went that long without scoring. We were just so locked in defensively. Then we poked our heads above water and we realized what we had done and it was incredible.”  Matisse Thybulle said after the game.

Gach’s field goal looked like it may be the last for the Utes, as they didn’t make another shot until he hit a floater in the lane with 3:20 to play. Utah finished the second half 5 of 20 from the field, knocking down a 3-pointer and two layups in the final 2:30 with mostly reserves in for Washington.

“In the second half I think it was one of the best 16 or 17 minutes of defense that we played all season.  We were active. We were talking. We were aware. And most importantly, we finished with the rebound.”  Washington head coach Mike Hopkins said.

The Huskies (21-5, 12-1 Pac-12) used a balanced attack as they improved to 13-0 at home. Washington finished with five players in double figures. Noah Dickerson scored 11, and 10 each from David Crisp, Matisse Thybulle and Jaylen Nowell.

Utah began the game with a 3-point barrage, hitting five in the first seven minutes. Sedrick Barefield hit four as the Utes jumped out to an early 17-7 lead. But Barefield went to the bench with his second foul at the 7:47 mark, and the Utes shot just 1 of 8 from deep after that.

“It feels really good knowing guys are like ‘Man, this zone. We got to come back and try to score on this again.’  They’re trying everything that they can do and we’re taking everything away. You can see how frustrated they are. You can see the starting to splinter off and not really being together and starting to argue with each other.  It makes our confidence on defense grow even more. Guys start working even harder and the crowd starts getting into it. Then you see guys flying around. Guys talking. Active hands. When we’re playing like that, we’re at our best.”  David Crisp said.

The Huskies found their footing in the final minutes of the first half, closing on an 11-2 run to take a 33-27 lead into the break. A layup by Nowell gave UW its first lead, 26-25, with 2:20 remaining.

Barefield didn’t score after his early outburst but still led the Utes (14-12, 8-6) with 12 points.

BIG PICTURE

Washington: The Huskies didn’t need much to beat the Utes Wednesday but protected their home court and, with some help, may have a chance to lock up at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title with a win Saturday against Colorado.

“We’re learning how to have a target on our backs.  These new areas of uncharted territory. We’re in the boat trying to find America. What I realize is we got to focus on playing together, understanding our defense and executing our game plan. If we can do that. We can beat anybody. But we also proven that we can lose to anybody.”  Hopkins said.

UP NEXT

Washington: The Huskies host Colorado on Saturday.

Washington vs. Utah Final Game Stats

Below is the actual video of Mike Hopkins Postgame Press Conference…..

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