The Huskies hung around all game, waiting for their chance to break through. The only problem was that Tyler Haws never stopped scoring.
BYU’s sophomore guard exploded for 37 points against the Washington men’s basketball team Tuesday night. A team-high 20 points from C.J. Wilcox, Haws’ childhood friend, weren’t enough to save the UW’s season.
The 2012-13 campaign came to an end with BYU’s 90-79 defeat of the Huskies (18-16) during the first round of the NIT in Provo, Utah. The UW finished a season with less than 20 wins for the first time in four years, a fitting end to a season of frustration on Montlake.
Tuesday, it was Haws who left the Huskies pulling their hair out. The 6-foot-5 sophomore finished 15-of-24 from the field and got his points in a variety of ways — in transition, spotting up on the perimeter, via mid-range jumpers. It was the most points an opponent has scored against the UW since Washington State’s Klay Thompson finished with 43 during the 2011 Pac-10 tournament.
Haws scored 22 of his points during the second half, when the Cougars scored too much for the UW to keep up.
After the Huskies weathered a first-half BYU run, Wilcox nailed a 3-pointer put his team on top 35-33 going into halftime. Almost immediately after the intermission, however, BYU poured it on.
While Haws was the star, he had plenty of help from forward Brandon Davies (22 points, nine rebounds) and guard Matt Carlino (20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds). The three combined to score 79 of BYU’s 90 points. Carlino put the final nails in the UW’s coffin with a trio of 3-pointers late in the second half that helped stretch a three-point Cougar lead to nine, a gap the Huskies could never narrow.
During the mini hot-streak with which the Huskies ended their regular season, senior Scott Suggs served as a capable partner in crime for Wilcox, the UW’s leading scorer. In Provo, however, Suggs made just one field goal, and finished the game with five points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Instead, Shawn Kemp Jr. was the UW’s second offensive option. The sophomore finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds to register the first double-double of the year. It was a positive sign from the player who will be expected to anchor the Huskies’ frontcourt next season.
That’s because Tuesday night also marked the last game in the career of center Aziz N’Diaye. The 7-footer scored 10 points and blocked two shots, while the UW’s third and final senior, Abdul Gaddy, posted nine points and nine assists.
Earlier this week, Wilcox said there’s a 50 percent chance he’ll leave school early to enter the NBA draft (as a redshirt junior, Wilcox has already spent four years at the UW). If he does choose to depart, the Huskies’ depth chart will look very meager next fall.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews would be the UW’s leading returning scorer (7.8 points per game) and the only guard coming back who played any meaningful minutes this season. Kemp, Desmond Simmons, and Jernard Jarreau should also return to the Husky frontcourt.
Those four players will be joined by a host of newcomers, beginning with transfer big-men Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx, both of whom will be eligible after sitting out this season. The UW already has the signatures of two incoming freshman guards — Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson — and holds a commitment from a third, Jahmel Taylor.
The Huskies are also still in the running for the services of highly touted forward Aaron Gordon of San Jose, Calif., who is widely regarded as one of the 10 best high-school players in the nation. Gordon has said he will announce his college destination during the first week of April.
Reach reporter Kevin Dowd at email@example.com. Twitter: @KevinDowd
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