Like everyone else these days, the Stanford Cardinal made sure to know where Terrell Brown, the Pac-12's leading scorer, was at all times. They were cognizant of Daejon Davis, formerly one of their own, and blocked his first shot.
However, they forget to keep tabs on Jamal Bey.
For 20 minutes, they flat out lost track of him.
The Cardinal paid a huge price for this omission, falling so far behind they couldn't make up the difference.
Oh, but they tried.
On Saturday afternoon, the Huskies used a hot-shooting Bey to build a 21-point lead, but with him held in check over the second half they let it slip to a nerve-wracking two before escaping with a 67-64 victory over Stanford at Alaska Airlines Arena.
"It's a game of runs," Brown said. "I'm glad we were on the side of this one."
A talented but sometimes overly passive player, Bey came out firing and scored all 17 of his points in the opening half, and largely was responsible for his team building a 43-25 halftime lead.
Seventeen was two more than the 6-foot-6 senior guard from Las Vegas had scored in an entire game all season and more than double his 8.4-point average coming in.
Seventeen was 15 more than Bey supplied the game before in an invisible outing against California, where he connected on just 1 of 6 shots.
This time, the man in the custom yellow sneakers set up on the wings and Brown, always the object of everyone's defensive affections, and the other Huskies (8-7 overall, 3-2 Pac-12) made sure to get him the ball.
Bey dropped in his first shot, a soft 3-pointer from the right side, nearly stepping out of bounds, to give the UW an 8-5 lead.
Bey stole the ball, scored on a lay-in and was fouled, completing the three-point play for an 11-5 lead, and the Huskies were on their way to first-half leads as large as 21 before settling into a 43-25 advantage at intermission.
Over the first 20 minutes, Bey sank 6 of 9 shots, 4 of 5 from behind the line. He also had 3 steals and 2 blocks, playing both ends of the floor with great energy.
"When he passes the ball I'm mad at him," Brown said. "I want the world to know what kind of shooter he is."
In the second half, Stanford (10-5, 3-2) got wise to Bey and held him scoreless on three missed shots, all from behind the line. He had a much bigger defender on him now.
"I wasn't going to take bad shots," Bey said of his lack of attempts.
Instead, Brown had to come up with 15 of his game-high 25 and the Huskies had to hang on for dear life.
UW coach Mike Hopkins sat Bey down five minutes into the half and didn't bring him back until 11:17 was left to play. The Huskies still led 59-43.
Stanford had been unnerved by the Husky zone to the point it blindly threw four balls out of bounds in the opening half that didn't even come close to reaching anyone.
Finally, the visitors settled down.
With 8:16 left to play, the Cardinal had used a 10-0 run to creep within six points. The lead was down to four with just over 3 minutes left. With 43 seconds on the clock, Stanford pulled to two for the first time since the opening minutes, at 65-63 on Lukas Kisunas' two free free throws.
It was a free throw contest thereafter to the final buzzer, with Brown, Stanford's Harrison Ingram and the UW's Cole Bajema hitting one each, and the game ended on a futile Cardinal heave.
The Huskies had survived a furious Stanford comeback, though none of the Cardinal starters finished in double figures or had more than 7 points. A deep team, reserve Brandon Angel led Stanford with 13.
"We're just thankful and grateful to come out with a win," Hopkins said. "It was like we were in a puddle of mud."
The Huskies came out of it splattered, but not drowned.
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