At the beginning of the first half, the Huskies started out cold again, missing their first four shots from the field and trying to find a rhythm.
The offense was ran primarily through true freshman Isaiah Stewart in the first five minutes, as the Huskies tried to establish an inside presence.
Stewart slammed a thunderous dunk, which got the Husky fans off their seats and into the game rather quickly. It put the Huskies on top 7-6 with 15:43 left in the first half.
Defensively, the Huskies started out in a man-to-man defense again but decided to stay in it a lot longer this time out, as it was effective.
He was dribble driving and breaking down defenders, while looking for his shot. He hit the Huskies first three-point shot in their last 53 minutes of play.
The Huskies need to find a consistent three-point shooter on the team in order for them to be a successful team this season offensively.
Ball security was much improved, as the Huskies only had 2 turnovers at the 9:56 mark of the first half, which helped the offense settle in.
Offensively, the Huskies were able to get the ball out in transition and get some easier baskets. Junior Nahziah Carter finished a bunch of coast to coast layups, providing a spark for the Huskies.
Hopkins was trying to speed the game up, by using his speed and athleticism to wear down the Toreros and get separation on the scoreboard.
At the 7:45 mark in the first half, the Huskies were beating the Toreros 10-0 in fast break points, which was the difference in the game.
Down the stretch of the first half, the Huskies had a lull where they couldn’t score the basketball, allowing San Diego to creep back into the game.
Turnovers started to creep back in, which caused the Huskies offensive rhythm to stall. They needed to get back to taking care of the basketball.
In the last few minutes of the first half, the Huskies were able to turn the Toreros over, which led to some easy layups for Carter.
During the first half, it still seemed as if the Huskies were struggling to find their chemistry playing together as one cohesive unit.
The “fail safe” for that is always to dump the ball inside to Stewart, who can usually muscle his way to the basket for a “chippie” when his number is called.
He provided a boost of energy in the final minutes of the half with his relentless pursuit of grabbing his own misses and laying them up. Stewart converted some “and-ones” as well.
Over the next 1:47 span, the Huskies went on a 7-0 run to break the game open and lead 37-28, with 1:29 left in the first half.
Defensively, the Huskies ended the half in a man-to-man defense to give San Diego a different look, and seemingly slowed them down.
The Huskies closed the half on a 12-2 run over the last 3:17, which was a huge surge. They brought the intensity and it paid off for them.
Stewart led the Huskies with 14 points, as well as chipping in 7 rebounds. Carter added 11 points and McDaniels notched 10.
At the start of the second half, the Huskies came out in a man-to-man defense and really got after the Toreros, fueling their offense.
Everyone was contributing as Stewart had it going in the paint and McDaniels was knocking down shots in the midrange game.
The Huskies went on a 7-0 run over a 0:54 second span, in the first five minutes of the second half, which broke the game wide open.
During the timeout, the Huskies were leading San Diego 50-37, with 16:20 on the clock, and in full control.
It was the first time all season that the Huskies dynamic freshman duo of Stewart and McDaniels “being on” at the same time.
Over the next few minutes the Huskies would put it on the Toreros, as they went on a 18-3 run over a 3:56 span.
They even hit 3 three-point shots in a row, which is an area that has given the Huskies some struggles offensively this season.
At the 11:33 mark of the second half, the Huskies were 4 for 6 from behind the arc, with confidence manifesting itself with each attempt.
The Huskies built-up a commanding 66-45 lead over San Diego with the breakout performance offensively that everyone has been waiting for.
At the midpoint of the second half Stewart starting to dominate the game, as the Toreros didn’t have anybody that could guard him inside.
As a team, this was the offensive breakout performance that everyone had been waiting for. It was just a matter of time before it happened this season.
Defensively, the Huskies got after it in the second half, as they held the Toreros to a 2:14 scoring drought at the 7:32 mark of the second half.
The Huskies had completely dominated the second half and pushed their lead to 75-50, with full contributions from the entire team.
Around the 4:30 mark, Hopkins slowly started to empty his bench, as the Huskies had blown the game wide open against San Diego.
The rest of the game was academic, as the Huskies put this one “on ice” early, which was a nice treat for Huskies fans this time around.
It was a nice complete performance for the Huskies who finally broke out offensively and got after it defensively the whole game as well.
Tonight showed Husky fans a glimpse of how scary the potential is on this team, when they have it all working together as one collective unit.
When the final horn sounded, the Huskies won the game 88-69, which concluded a three game slate this past week for the Dawgs.
The Huskies were led by Isaiah Stewart, who had 25 points and 7 rebounds. McDaniels chimed in with 20 points and 3 rebounds and Carter finished with 16 points and 7 boards of his own.
San Diego was led by guard Marion Humphrey, who finished with 13 points and 2 assists, which helped keep the Toreros productive on the night.
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