For more than a half Saturday night in Pullman, the Huskies, who lost at Arizona State a week earlier, looked as if they were ready to resurrect last season’s late fade. But senior Noah Dickerson wasn’t having it, getting his final bucket and rebound of an 18-and-10 evening with a tip-in that sealed Washington’s 72-70 victory (box) over Washington State.
Dickerson’s clean-up of a missed layin by Jaylen Nowell with 25 seconds left put UW up 71-67 and sealed a comeback from a 14-point deficit. UW rose to 11-1 in the Pac-12 Conference and 20-5 overall, averting an embarrassing loss to the Cougs (3-9, 10-15). Coach Mike Hopkins has reached 20 wins in each of his first two seasons in Seattle.
The Huskies’ vaunted zone defense was shredded early by the Cougars, who had a big game from unheralded Marvin Cannon. The 6-5 sophomore guard entered with a seven-point average, but had 18 at halftime, finishing with a game-high 25, as WSU led 45-36 at the break.
Nowell, who picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, led the rally, finishing with 20 points. But the defense was key. The Huskies forced 19 turnovers, including two by Cougars star Robert Franks, in the final three minutes. WSU in the late going added an airball from freshman guard C.J. Elleby, from Seattle’s Cleveland High, that helped collapse the hot start.
The Cougars beat Arizona 69-55 last week and Franks was named national player of the week, the first Cougar to receive national player of the week accolades since Faisal Aden in January 2012. He had 16 points, but he and Elleby each had five turnovers against Washington.
The Huskies, with four of their final six at home, are back at Hec Ed against Utah at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Colorado at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.