From the first possession, the Huskies came out in a man-to-man defense and forced a shot clock violation, which ignited the Husky crowd.
Offensively, the Huskies shooting struggles continued as they started the game 1 for 6 from the field and found themselves down 7-4 at the 14:53 mark.
The Huskies tried to push the tempo with getting out in transition but failed to convert their field goal attempts, which has been an issue all season.
Shooting the ball without hesitation was an issue in the first half as the Huskies appeared to second guess their shot selections.
At the 10:45 mark, the Huskies started to feed true freshman Isaiah Stewart down on the block and let him go to work with some easy buckets.
It settled the Huskies offense down, as they were able to gain a 13-9 lead, while energizing the team. When all else fails, they have a safety valve in Stewart!
Defensively, the Huskies switched to their patented 2-3 zone defense to try and disrupt the Black Bears and force them to shoot from the outside.
At the 7:22 mark, the Huskies only had 17 points on the scoreboard and were scratching and clawing to find easy baskets along the way.
It would catapult a 6-0 run by the Huskies and put them ahead 23-13 at the 5:46 mark of the first half. After that, the Huskies started to separate as they built their lead to 30-13 at the 4:09 mark.
The story of the end of the first half for the Huskies was the dunking clinic that Carter put on, which completely changed the complexion of the game.
Windmill dunks, one-handed flushes…Carter was doing it all, as he found a kink in the Black Bears armor defensively and he surely exploited it.
Ever since the Huskies went to their 2-3 zone defense, they were able to get stops defensively and get the ball out in transition!
Towards the end of the first half, the Huskies were able to play at their pace with speeding up the Black Bears, forcing them into 14 turnovers.
It was a nice end to the half for the Huskies, as they pushed their lead to 18 points, while holding Maine to only 18 first half points. The Huskies led 36-18 at the half.
Stewart led all scorers at the half with 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting and also chipped in 7 rebounds. Carter and Stewart gave the Huskies a huge boost in the first half.
At the start of the second half, the Huskies came out on the first possession and Jaden McDaniels delivered an alley-oop dunk from Quade Green.
Defensively, the Huskies came out in a man-to-man defense and gave up some three pointers, which allowed the Black Bears to go on a 6-0 run over a 1:19 span.
Hopkins quickly called a timeout to settle his team down and talk things over. The Huskies lead was cut to 40-24 at the 16:41 mark in the second half.
The Huskies switched to their 2-3 zone defense and tried to get after it defensively but the Black Bears were able to knock down some three’s.
All season long, the Huskies have struggled with defending the three ball and Maine’s only life line in the entire game was knocking them down.
Offensively, the Huskies started out the second half shooting better at 58% around the 10:23 mark, where they led 54-36 over the Black Bears.
Down the stretch, the Huskies would eventually separate by wearing down the Black Bears with their length and size. The Huskies led 60-36 at the 7:50 mark and looked to put the finishing touches on their victory.
At the 5:08 mark the Huskies were only 2 for 12 from behind the arc at 17%. The outside shooting for the Huskies will have to improve going forward.
In the end, the Huskies would put the game on ice, as the last few minutes were academic. The Huskies won 72-53 to improve to 3-1 on the season.
On the night, the Huskies were led by Isaiah Stewart, who finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and was a dominant force in the paint.
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