Huskies Find Their Way In 2nd Half In Gritty 71-67 Win Over the Aggies

The Washington Huskies grinded out a gritty 71-67 win over the Texas A&M Aggies in their second game of the Vancouver Showcase tournament.

At one point the Huskies were down 13 points with seemingly no momentum in the foreseeable future for them.

In the first half, the Huskies came out to a slow start and could not score the basketball as nothing would fall for them.

It allowed the Aggies to methodically control the game and find ways to break down the soft spots of the Husky 2-3 zone defense.

While the Huskies were going through their shooting woes in the first half, Washington head coach Mike Hopkins got slapped with a technical foul while trying to motivate and spark his team.

The Huskies couldn’t get out of their own way in the first half and headed to the locker room down 38-33 and searching for answers.

It looked like another typical game for the Huskies, with another slow start and the inability to score the basketball and get easy buckets.

Once the second half rolled around, it was the Huskies who played a methodical grind-it-out game of their own.

They didn’t take back the lead all at once, but they were able to chip away slowly but surely until they finally broke the game open.  

One bright spot in the second half was the stingy Hopkins 2-3 defense that seemed to tighten up and stymie the Aggies.

While the Huskies were figuring out their offense, the 2-3 zone kept them in the game and bought them time, until they were able to get into a rhythm and score.

“We took it upon ourselves to make sure they couldn’t gap and get into the paint and once we stopped that they had a hard time scoring,”  Noah Dickerson said.

The story of the night was the spectacular play of senior forward Noah Dickerson.  During the first half, he struggled to find his shot but he imposed his will and took over the game in the second half.

“I couldn’t make anything. I couldn’t make nothing. But we just kept at it,” Dickerson said in regards to the first half.

When sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell was sent to the bench with 4 fouls at 12:41 left in the game, Dickerson picked up the slack and was the dominant force that Hopkins has been waiting to see all season.

On the night, Dickerson finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds with 11 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end of the floor.

“He just kept playing and he didn’t get frustrated if he didn’t make it. It was just keep battling, keep going at it and he did,”  Hopkins said.

The Huskies finally took the lead for the first time with 9:25 left in the game, and were able to sustain a small lead the rest of the way and finish the game.

With 7:44 left in the game, the Huskies had gone on an 11-0 run where the fire and intensity was ultra high and it fueled their run.

What was impressive was the senior leadership that the Huskies displayed down the stretch of the game when it counted the most.

Matisse Thybulle, Noah Dickerson and David Crisp all put their imprint on the game in some fashion, which helped the lead the Huskies to victory.

The Aggies were led on the night by sophomore guard Jay Jay Chandler who finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds.

“We really struggled guarding Dickerson and once we missed some easy shots at the free-throw line we got a little bit tighter in our shot selection,”  Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.

This early in the season, it was nice to see the Huskies display a gutsy performance on a night when nothing started out right for them.

Hopkins said the goal is to improve and get better each game and during the Vancouver Showcase tournament, the Huskies seem to be finding themselves with each passing game.

The Huskies (4-1) return to the court tomorrow on a back-to-back game.  The game will be played Wednesday, November 21st at 3:30pm PST in Vancouver, Canada when they take on the Minnesota Gophers.  It will mark the third and last game of the Vancouver Showcase tournament for the Huskies.

Washington vs. Texas A&M Final Game Stats