Huskies Were “Ready For Battle” In 64-56 Victory Over The Beavers

The Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball team was looking to “right the ship” and get back on track at Alaska Airlines Arena against the Oregon State Beavers.

At the beginning of the first half, true freshman forward Jaden McDaniels was replaced in the starting lineup by true freshman guard RaeQuan Battle.

McDaniels suffered an ankle sprain injury towards the end of their last game against the California Bears.  He was suited up, but unsure if he would play.

The Huskies won the opening tip and were able to find Battle wide open in the corner for a three-pointer, as the crowd erupted!

Defensively, the Huskies started out in their 2-3 zone, with the hopes of squeezing the Beavers out of the paint and forcing tough shots.

It was a fast start out of the gate, as the Huskies went on a quick mini-run, when junior forward Hameir Wright hit a three pointer.

True freshman forward Isaiah Stewart hit a spot-up 10-footer to push the Huskies lead to 8-2, at the 15:25 mark of the first half.

Coming out with energy and emotion is just what the doctor ordered for Washington head coach Mike Hopkins and his squad!

Oregon State went ice cold for a 3-plus minute stretch, where everything they shot wouldn’t go in the basket, disrupting their rhythm.

Hopkins went deep into his bench from the very start of the game, in hopes of finding that one guy who could provide a spark!

Offensively, the Huskies went on a consistent run from the field by hitting 5 of 7 FG’s, which helped build their confidence and composure.

The Beavers were having a tough time adjusting to Hopkins’ 2-3 zone, as they were shooting 17% from the field on just 2 of 12.

At the 11:19 mark, the Huskies were leading 15-8 and had pretty much controlled the tempo of the game from the very start!

Battle was giving the Huskies a great boost with his outside shooting and aggressiveness, looking for his shot on the perimeter.

Over the next 3:05-plus minutes, the Huskies went on a scoring drought where they hadn’t put the ball in the basket.

Luckily for them, the defense was stout enough for them to hold the Beavers at bay, while they tried to get themselves right on offense.

During a timeout at the 5:57 mark, the Huskies were leading 21-12, but they needed to finish out the half strong and with momentum.

The Huskies would get that momentum by hitting a couple three-pointers.  One by junior guard Nahziah Carter and another by Battle.

If Battle can continue to shoot this going forward, he may just be the missing piece from the perimeter that Hopkins has been searching for.

With 4:08 left in the first half, the Huskies had pushed their commanding lead to 27-14, with no signs of letting the Beavers off the hook!

For the rest of the half, the Beavers outscored the Huskies 7-4, which was the only positive sign for Oregon State the entire first half.

At halftime, Washington was ahead 31-21, after coming out to a fast start and playing some sound defense in the 2-3 zone.

It was clearly evident that the Huskies were playing with a sense of urgency, with their NCAA Tournament hopes hanging in the balance.

RaeQuan Battle led the way with 11 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds for the Huskies, as he was the huge story of the entire first half.

Surely Washington head coach Mike Hopkins was happy with the effort and the execution during the first half.  I’m sure he was telling his team to keep up the hard work in the second half!

At the start of the second half, the Huskies picked up where they left off with being red hot from the field, as they went on a 7-2 run.

It prompted an Oregon State timeout at the 17:08 mark, where the Huskies had a 38-23 lead and complete control of the game.

The Huskies were 3 for 5 from the field and defensively they continued to put the clamps on the Beavers and frustrate them.

Offensively, the Huskies made it a point to pound the ball inside to their “ace” Stewart for easy layups underneath the basket!

Carter would get in on the action when he ignited the crowd with a fierce alley-oop dunk, that brought the house down.

During a timeout, the Huskies were leading 42-27 at the 15:06 mark and all signs pointed to it being a good night for the Dawgs.

Over the course of the next 3:00 minutes, the Huskies got a little sloppy, which allowed the Beavers to crawl back into the game a bit.

The Huskies lead was cut to 12-points, at 44-32, as the Beavers were desperately trying to show some sign of life on the evening.

Oregon State hit their next 5 out of 7 FG’s and found themselves developing some sort of rhythm on the offensive end.

Both teams would go back and forth and trade baskets before the Huskies hit a three-pointer by sophomore Jamal Bey.

It pushed the lead to 54-38, with 7:39 left in the game, and the Huskies just needing to stay aggressive and execute down the stretch.

True freshman point guard Marcus Tsohonis gave the Huskies a nice contribution off the bench at the point guard position.

He was making good decisions and looking to score the basketball, while running Hopkins offense efficiently the entire night.

Tsohonis also hit a three-pointer that prompted a Beavers timeout, as some Husky fans started heading towards the exits.

Down the final stretch, the Huskies controlled the tempo and the clock en route to sealing the victory and righting the ship!

When the final horn sounded, the Huskies won the game 64-56, as their Pac-12 Conference record improved to 2-3, ending their two-game losing streak.

The Huskies were led by Isaiah Stewart, who had 13 points and 5 rebounds.  Battle chipped in 11 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds.  Jamal Bey finished with 11 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.  Lastly, Tsohonis finished with 11 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.

It was a night for the Huskies true freshmen to shine, as Battle and Tsohonis locked down some solid play at the guard positions!

McDaniels did not play tonight, as he was nursing a sore ankle, but Hopkins confirmed after the game that he will play against Oregon.

Oregon State was led by senior forward Tres Tinkle, who finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds on the night.

The Huskies, whose margin for error has become razor thin, are fighting for a berth into the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season.

Next up for the Huskies (12-6, 2-3) is a home game on Saturday, January 18th at 12:45 p.m. PT, against the Oregon Ducks at Alaska Airlines Arena.




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