Washington basketball: 3 takeaways from Huskies 81-79 loss to Gonzaga

Though it was close, Washington Basketball lost their matchup against Gonzaga on Wednesday night.

It was only fitting the MVP of the game between Washington basketball and Gonzaga Rui Hachimura of the Bulldogs hit the winning basket with .06 seconds left in the game. He led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Other Bulldogs players in double digits were Zach Norvell Jr. with 14 points, Corey Kispert with 13 and Brandon Clarke with 10. Clarke led the Bulldogs with 11 rebounds.

The Huskies were led once again by their leading scorer on the season in Jaylen Nowell with 26 points. Matisse Thybulle had his best night offensively so far in the season with 18 points. Noah Dickerson had 13 points, though it was a tough night inside against the Bulldogs.

The up and downs of the offenses

Both teams had their moments on the offensive side of the ball. Again, the Huskies had a tough start in the first half scoring only 10 points with 10:21 left. Fortunately, the Bulldogs had only 16 points. I believe a lot of it was the Huskies running their offense at a slow pace. They knew any chance for them to win this game they couldn’t go up and down the floor at a high pace.

Within the next five minutes, the Bulldogs outscored the Huskies 13-5 to take the largest lead they had in the game 29-15. Matisse Thybulle had a couple threes that narrowed the lead down to ten, which is where they were at halftime, 40-30.

The Huskies went on a nice run at the beginning of the second half 12-2 to tie the score at 42-42 at the 17:30 mark then took their only lead of the game at 45-42.

Ten minutes later, the Bulldogs were on a run getting the lead the highest in the second half of 11 points at 73-62 with six minutes remaining in the game, however, Thybulle had another 3-pointer in the game helping the Huskies to get back into it, finally tying at 79 with less than a minute before Rui Hachimura’s winning basket.

The defense finally comes alive

The Huskies defense wasn’t great through most of the game, giving up outside shots as well as shots around the basket. Dickerson and Hameir Wright both ended up fouling out of the game for the Huskies.

However, the rest of the players made up losing both of them in the last minutes of the game. Forward Sam Timmins, the only real inner presence left in the game, made a couple important blocks and rebounds.

The Free Throw Line

Both teams did well at the free throw line. It is quite amazing because they both shot better than their season shooting percentage, which is good anyway. The Huskies shooting percentage on the season is 72.5%, however, they made 14 of15 for 93.3%. The Bulldogs shot perfect at the line going 19 for 19. Their season percent is slightly higher than the Huskies at 75.6 percent.  Had both teams shot around their season average the Huskies would have made 11 of 15  and the Bulldogs 14 of 19, positioning the game for overtime.