Jaylen Nowell Goes “En Fuego” In Huskies 82-68 Win Over Santa Clara

The Washington Huskies started off the Vancouver Showcase tournament with a solid 82-68 win over the Santa Clara Broncos.

In a game where the Huskies were heavily favored, it was a good opportunity for them to improve and find their identity.

From the opening tip, sophomore star guard Jaylen Nowell was on fire the entire night and couldn’t miss whatever he hoisted up.

“The ball just happened to come to me a lot.  It was a blur.” Nowell said after the game.

Whether it was the mid-range game that he loves to operate in, three point shots or layups, Nowell imposed his will on the game.

It was nice for the Huskies to get an offensive spark and easy baskets, as the Huskies have struggled this season shooting the ball from the outside.

Nowell finished with a game high 32 points and 5 rebounds on the night, which was one-point shy of his career high.

Sophomore forward Hameir Wright was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in place of senior forward Sam Timmins.

Washington head coach Mike Hopkins is trying to find his best lineup to maximize rebounding in the 2-3 zone defense.

Heading into halftime, the Huskies were ahead 42-32 and were looking to come out in the second half and separate themselves from the Broncos.  

They finished the first half shooting 5 of 10 from behind the arc at 50% and also shot 50% from the field at 13 for 26.

In the second half, the Huskies set the tone early when Nowell scored the first five points of the half, and pushed the lead out to 47-32.

Most of the second half, the Huskies were fully in command with a big lead until the Huskies lost focus for a bit, and let the Broncos climb back into it.

“I thought our defense was lackluster. We need to be better there.  For the most part we’ve got to be more consistent. Some of our turnovers were pretty awful and I sit there sometimes and shake my head and say ‘what just happened?’ But to be able to come out with a win, we’ve just got to keep getting better.” Hopkins said.

The Huskies were never really in danger or threatened during the second half, as the game hovered around a 10-point lead.

In the end, the Huskies made the plays when it counted and secured the victory down the stretch, paced by “Mr. En Fuego” himself…Jaylen Nowell.

“Special player, efficient, gets in the lane, tough to guard. Just lucky he is on our team.” Hopkins said.

Bench production has been a point of emphasis this year and tonight, the Huskies got contributions from senior forward Dominic Green and sophomore forward Nahziah Carter.

Green hit a couple of big three’s down the stretch, that broke the game open and sealed the victory for the Huskies.  Green finished with 13 points on the night.

Carter continues to be the “spark plug” off the bench, and brings an energy to the floor that the Huskies need on a nightly basis.  He finished with 9 points and energized the Huskies throughout the game.

The Broncos were led by sophomore forward Josip Vrankic who finished the night 21 points, while freshman forward Keshawn Justice had 15 points on the night.

The Huskies (3-1) return to the court on Tuesday, November 20th at 8:30pm PST in Vancouver, Canada when they take on the Texas A&M Aggies.  It will mark the second game of the Vancouver Showcase tournament.

Washington vs. Santa Clara Final Game Stats