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Huskies shake off sluggish start, pull away from Sacramento State in second half

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 21, 2018

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle scored 12 points apiece, and Nahziah Carter added 11 off the bench as Washington overcame a sluggish first half to defeat Sacramento State 57-41 in nonconference men’s basketball Friday night.

The Huskies (8-4) shot just 33 percent in the first half, including 0 of 11 from the 3-point line, but held Sacramento State (6-3) to 19 points after the halftime break as they improved to 6-0 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Washington turned the tide from the start of the second half, scoring the first 11 points of the period to quickly erase its 22-19 halftime deficit. The Huskies turned to their defense to create easy offense, forcing the Hornets into 21 turnovers, which they turned into 24 points. Thybulle led the Huskies with seven steals, and has recorded at least one steal in 58 straight games.

The Hornets led by as many as nine in the first half, taking a 20-11 lead on a layup by Marcus Graves with 6:16 remaining, as the Huskies went nearly 8 minutes without a bucket. Dickerson flushed home a dunk to cut the UW deficit to 14-11 with 11:50 to play and the Huskies didn’t score another bucket until a David Crisp layup at the 4:09 mark.

Joshua Patton and Graves led the Hornets with 12 points each. Sacramento State shot just 13.6 percent in the second half.

Big picture

Sacramento State: The Hornets entered the game tied for their best start in the program’s Division I era (1991-present). Even with the loss, they have their best nonconference winning percentage since joining the Big Sky Conference in 1996.

Washington: Following a loss to No. 13 Virginia Tech, the Huskies were sluggish against a lesser opponent but will have plenty of the time to correct their mistakes over the holiday break, as they won’t return to the court until Jan. 1.

New addition

Washington got a boost for the future with the reported addition of former Kentucky guard Quade Green, who could be eligible as early as January 2020. Green tweeted “UDUB” after visiting the school earlier this week, and told ESPN he was going to join the Huskies. The school cannot announce Green’s addition until all his transfer becomes finalized.

Up next

The Hornets start their conference schedule hosting Northern Colorado on Dec. 29.

The Huskies will enjoy their holiday break before beginning the new year against Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 1 in their final nonconference game of the season. Washington will begin Pac-12 play against in-state rival Washington State on Jan. 5.

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