Career highs propel UW over Long Beach State

Led by career-highs from David Crisp and Noah Dickerson, the Washington Huskies overcame a dismal first half shooting to defeat Long Beach State 94-88 Tuesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Crisp finished the game with 26 points and Dickerson 23, while Markelle Fultz added 21 for the Huskies (3-1).

Evan Payne led five Long Beach State (1-4) players with 19 points, followed by Gabe Levin's 15, Justin Bibbins with 14, Noah Blackwell with 12 and Temidayo Yussuf with 10. 

It was a classic tale of two shooting halves for the Huskies, who went 0-13 from three-point range the first half, only to go perfect on eight attempts in the final 20 minutes. 

During that icy first half stretch, Washington relied heavily on Dickerson, who scored 17 of his career-high 23 before intermission, including eight in a 14-2 near the end of the first half to give them a 36-32 lead at the break. 

Washington's first made trey came with over 28 minutes played when Dominic Green tossed one in from the left side free throw line extended. 

But then the 49'ers Payne got hot, scoring seven-straight points. 

With 8:05 remaining, Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar called time out, and during that break put sophomore Matisse Thybulle on Payne. Thybulle forced a turnover and Fultz converted with a two-straight jumpers at the other end to cut Long Beach State's lead to a single point. 

Then it became the David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle show. 

His first made three came with 6:09 to play, giving Washington a one-point lead. Then Thybulle put in back-to-back long balls to force another Long Beach State time out. 

The 49'ers Blackwell hit a three-pointer to draw the Huskies' lead back to four with 2:09 to play, but that's as close as the visitors would get. Crisp hit two more threes, the second with 53 seconds to play, to comfortably put the game out of reach. 

Washington forced 23 turnovers, but only scored 20 points off those turnovers. They valued the ball on their own end, giving up the ball only 10 times. 

The game was marred by a plethora of fouls, as three players in total fouled out and 51 fouls called between the two teams, 29 on Long Beach State. 

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VIDEOS

Lorenzo Romar

Opening “Long Beach State was picked to win the Big West and they’ve had a very, very difficult schedule on the road. They’ve definitely taken their lumps, but we talked to our team about them feeling back here they’ve played us very tough in the past. It seems like whenever we play Long Beach State the games are close. You play them the last couple times we were down double digits and had to comeback and win the game. We knew that they would come out here and play well and I thought they did a good job. There were victories here for us tonight. We shot 34% in the first half. Our shots weren’t going. I believe between Markelle Fultz, Matisse Theybulle, and Dominic Green they were something like four for 21 or 22 in the first half. It just wasn’t falling. But yet in the first half we were guarding. We were guarding pretty good and we forced 15 turnovers. We limited their offensive rebound play and that allowed us to stay in the game at that point. We talked to our team about it. The shots aren’t always going to go in. The second half we did start making shots and I think we forgot about playing defense at that point. Our identity shifted all of a sudden to where we had an offensive mindset and we didn’t guard as well as we should have. Still a work in progress, but I think we’re makings steady, steady improvement.”

Were you encouraged to be leading after shooting so poorly in the fist half? “Totally. Totally. It’s something we talk about all the time. The ball is not going to go in the basket sometimes. When that happens you have to be able to guard. If not, if you’re not guarding and the ball is not going in the basket you’re going to get blown out. So for us to be in that position at half time - that’s one of the early season victories, even though it was halftime, for our team because that’s what we’re going to face the rest of the year when the ball’s not going in the hoop.”

On Noah Dickerson “Noah (Dickerson) was huge. He played his best game of this young season. 17 points in the first half, he was active. I don’t think he missed a shot for a long time. He was very active out there. He did a really good job. He gave us a great post presence.”

Is it important to establish a reliable number two scorer? “I think it’s very important. Matisse Thybulle has kind of been that guy. David Crisp at times has been that guy. He was certainly that guy tonight. Noah Dickerson was that guy. We have close to four guys in double figures and five within striking distance. If you have three normally, you have three guys that you can count on them for certain points every night that’s usually a good foundation for you scoring.”

Did you learn something about Markelle Fultz tonight when he struggled to score at times? “Yeah. I learned that he is really a good player because when you go nine for 18 with six assists and two turnovers and you struggle, that’s when you start to be good. He wasn’t as spectacular. I will agree with that. Maybe he wasn’t as spectacular, but I wouldn’t say he struggled. I just thought that - again, Markelle Fultz is not going to be Superman every night, but he’s probably going to be pretty good.”

On Sam Timmins showing flashes but also showing he’s a freshman at times “Yeah, and that’s a fact. He is a freshman. He’s kerning. He;s just working through some things. I’m really excited that we have Sam Timmins. He’s going to be a really good player for us.”

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Markelle Fultz and Noah Dickerson

Markelle Fultz

Was there anything that sparked the offensive turnaround late? “No, I mean I just kept shooting the ball. You’re going to have nights like this where in the beginning it’s not going to start falling. I was taking great shots, and great looks at the basket, and it just wasn’t going in. It wasn’t like it was bad misses. My mindset was just keep shooting. If I keep shooting it eventually is going to go down. I just tried to find other things to do to help my team win on the defensive end, getting steals, boxing out, rebounding, and stuff like that.”

On the hot streak to end from three point range to end the night “I think we just keep tour confidence. We kept our energy from the first half on the defensive end. We kept shooting. Everybody kept shooting and it eventually started falling. After that our confidence kept going up and they just kept falling.”

Was staying aggressive hard when shots weren’t falling? “Not for me. I’ve been through this plenty of times where I had a tough night scoring. I just try to find other things to spark my game like getting offensive rebound, going back up, getting to the free throw line and stuff like that. It wasn’t tough.”

Did you notice when Noah Dickerson and David Crisp started to score that things opened up more for you? “Yeah. I think when they started hitting threes - when I drive I think the defense always thinks about helping. So really it just gets them more open sometimes and sometimes it gets me more open. I was just driving. Sometimes I would dribble all the way through like I did in the second half to find Matisse (Thybulle) after he hit one three because I noticed that he made one. Just finding David (Crisp), once he makes one three I think David, it just can go up from there. Just like al the guys, when they make one shot just try to go back to them and get there confidence to keep going up and stuff like that.”

What did you think about David Crisp’s stretch at the end? “It was incredible. That’s what he does. He makes big shots in big times. He’s a great shooter. He’s not only just a shooter; he can drive, he can create, he can play defense, and it just happened that he was making shots and I just kept feeding him.”

How much different is the defense playing against you when your teammates are making shots? “It’s pretty much - it’s just me reading if they help or not. Because if they help one second I’m going back to them because he just made a shot. If they don’t I pretty much have a one on one with an offensive player, which with my length and my scoring ability it’s going to be hard for the defender to guard me.”

Noah Dickerson

Do you make it a bigger priority to score around the rim when the team is struggling to make threes? “No. My teammates, they realized their shot wasn’t falling and said let’s get some easy baskets inside. I just started getting some easy baskets. We weren’t shooting the ball well. We were playing great defense. The easy baskets we got inside just kind of kept us in there. In the second half shots started falling.”

Are you aware that was a career high for you? “No.”

What was different tonight? “Nothing. Just one of those nights. Hopefully many more”

Are you more confident in your midrange jumper this year than last? “Yeah. It’s very nice playing with somebody like (Markelle Fultz) that can get me so open I can just sit there and wait for the ball to come and slowly catch and shoot. I work on that shot all the time. HE gets me open, he turns back, throws it. I’m just there. Just like practice I guess.”

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