The Huskies received some big performances from several players, which enabled them to outrun Oregon for an 85-77 win at Alaska Airlines Arena.
After four straight defeats, Washington (13-4, 2-3 Pac-12) now has consecutive victories and a little bit of momentum heading into next week’s games at Colorado and No. 8 Utah.
Here’s a few thoughts.
DONAVEN DORSEY WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? – I keep going back to this statistic, when Washington makes at least five three-pointers the Huskies are 11-0. Of course, the game is never that simple. But even coach Lorenzo Romar admits that when the Huskies make shots on the perimeter, they’re a different team. I’d say, they’re more of a complete team. Tonight, four UW players had a three-pointer, including Nigel Williams-Goss who had just one three-pointer in the previous eight games. When the Huskies can space the floor and spread defenses thin, it opens driving lanes and allows the big men to work inside. Dorsey has the green light and tonight he was 4 of 5, including 3 for 3 behind the arc. He finished with 13 points, which was the most since notching his personal best 17 back on Nov. 27 against San Jose State. Because Dorsey is a freshman – and freshmen tend to be a bit streaky – tonight’s shooting performance may not carry over to the next game. Even if Dorsey doesn’t shoot like he did Sunday, he can make an impact if he’s able to collect a career-high five rebounds. And his steal and fast break layup is an example that maybe the freshman forward is getting comfortable with his defensive responsibilities. After the game Dorsey said the biggest adjustment has been adjusting to the opponent’s scouting report.
THE ZONE IS HERE TO STAY – Never thought a Romar-led team would rely on a zone as much as the Huskies have in the past two games. Not sure if Washington has played one possession using its trademark man-to-man defense. Romar knows the best way to keep center Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp on the floor is to play zone. Romar credited Kemp, who has helped make UW’s 2-3 zone difficult at times on opponents. The 6-9 forward is more comfortable in the low post, but in the zone he sometimes has to defend players on the wing. It’s an unenviable task for a big man. Against Oregon, Washington did a decent job defensively. The Ducks shot 44.1 percent in the first half and 39.5 percent in the second half. The Huskies managed to win the rebounding battle 43-34. They also limited the Ducks to just seven free throw attempts.
BEST BACKCOURT IN PAC-12? – Sometimes the pathway to a Washington win is as simple as Andrew Andrews and Williams-Goss dominating their individual battles. The Huskies are going to be difficult to beat if they’re both scoring at least 20 points, collecting four rebounds and delivering at least four assists. Not many teams can combat that type production in the backcourt. Andrews was particularly good in clutch situations. He hasn’t been this good (21 points, four rebounds and four assists) since scoring 20 points against UTEP. And Williams-Goss bounced back from an eight-performance in UW’s last outing and finished wiht 20 points, five assists and four rebounds. He also connected on the final four free throws to cap the scoring in the game.