Per The University of Washington Press Release…..
SEATTLE (AP) — Matisse Thybulle had 17 points, six steals and five blocked shots, Jaylen Nowell added 12 points, and Washington claimed a share of the Pac-12 regular season title with a 64-55 win over Colorado on Saturday night.
“Apparently, we accomplished a share of getting the Pac-12 championship, but that means nothing to us. We want to win it all. We’re grateful for the opportunity that we have in front of us. We’re grateful for where we are, but we’re just looking at the next game.” Matisse Thybulle said.
The Huskies (22-5, 13-1 Pac-12) won for the 15th time in 16 games and claimed a share of the league title with four regular season games remaining. It’s the first time Washington has claimed a piece of the conference crown since the 2011-12 season and the Huskies need just one win in their final four games to earn the league title outright.
“I always had a vision that we could definitely do this, but I just didn’t have a timeline.” Hopkins said.
The turnaround orchestrated in just two seasons under Mike Hopkins has Washington back on top of the conference and seemingly headed to its first NCAA tournament berth since 2011 no matter what happens the rest of the conference season or in Las Vegas at the Pac-12 tournament.
“Anytime you win a title it’s great,” coach Mike Hopkins said this week. Obviously, it’s what you’re striving for. I believe that if you’re doing the right stuff off the court all the time, then that’s the result. The score takes care of itself per se. Our guys have done a really good job of staying focused, having good practices, taking care of their bodies and for the most part executing game plans, other than a couple of times early in games. Championships, you play for it. There’s a lot of pride in that. We want to have and try to build a consistent championship-level program. Bottom line. If we’re able to do that, then that’s great for the guys. Great for the school and great for the alumni.” Washington head coach Mike Hopkins said.
Thybulle was once again the instigator of Washington’s defense that has held every conference opponent except Arizona State to 70 points or less. The Huskies forced 19 turnovers and Thybulle moved into second place on the conference’s all-time steals list, trailing only Gary Payton. Thybulle has 301 career steals.
“He went Carl Lewis on us today with that loose ball when he outran (Wright), and a little bit David Copperfield. I don’t know where he’s at. He goes invisible and then he’s behind you. You just don’t know where he’s at. He’s incredible. He’s got a gift. He does something better than anybody in the country.” Hopkins said of Thybulle.
David Crisp added 10 points and Washington improved to 14-0 at home this season.
Tyler Bey led Colorado (16-11, 7-8) with 20 points, but D’Shawn Schwartz was the only other Buffaloes player in double figures with 10 points. Bey also added 11 rebounds. Leading scorer McKinley Wright IV was held to four points and attempted just five shots.
Washington led by 18 midway through the second half. The Huskies started the second half on a 16-6 spurt and Nowell’s tipin with 9:59 left gave Washington a 59-41 lead. But Colorado had one final run, pulling within 59-50 on Bey’s basket underneath with 7:09 left.
Thybulle scored in the lane for Washington and after several minutes of empty possessions Thybulle added a free throw with 3:25 left for a 62-50 lead. That proved to be enough as Colorado went more than 5 1/2 minutes without scoring, committing four turnovers during the stretch.
“He had 11 takeaways in 25 minutes. That’s not even funny. You look at it and it’s game changing. It’s incredible.” Hopkins added.
Washington: The Huskies will wrap up the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with one more win or losses by Oregon State and Arizona State. … Washington played without starting forward Hameir Wright, who returned to the East Coast to deal with a personal matter. Dominic Green started in Wright’s place.
Washington: The Huskies begin their final road trip of the regular season at California on Thursday.
Below is the actual video of Mike Hopkins Postgame Press Conference…..