Coyote Ugly: UW Wins Another Mismatch
The gym was one-third full, which might have been generous with people more interested in watching the Seahawks game downtown. Play was ragged against an outmatched opponent. The game was close until it got out of hand over the final five minutes.
Against South Dakota, the Washington basketball team simply took the opportunity to get in a good workout, beating the visiting Coyotes 75-55 on Monday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
What everyone missed was freshman forward Jaden McDaniels asserting himself a little more on the offensive end. The ultra-smooth forward from Federal Way dropped in 15 of his game-best 20 points in the first half, He led the UW in scoring for the first time.
Coach Mike Hopkins also tried something different with his lineup for the first time this season, giving sophomore guard Jamal Bey his initial starting assignment as a Husky in place of junior Hameir Wright.
Bey made the most of his starting role for the 23rd-ranked Huskies (6-1), scoring 14 points and providing a 3-point threat. He hit 2 of 4 from beyond the arc for a team that struggles from that range. He found out he was a starter right before tipoff.
"We wanted to give him an opportunity," UW coach Mike Hopkins said. "He did great tonight."
Said Bey, "I was excited. I just go out there and play my hardest."
Freshman post player Isaiah Stewart started slow and got into foul trouble late, fouling out, but he supplied his usual stat line: 16 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks.
McDaniels, wearing his trademark white headband, tossed in a variety of field goals over those first 20 minutes--a 3-pointer, a short banker, a one-hander, a shot in traffic, a fallaway, another shot with defender draped on him and a pull-up jumper. He helped the Huskies ease out to a 32-23 halftime lead.
However, the game bogged down thereafter for the Huskies, who had their big lead slip to four on four occasions after the break. The last time came at 56-52 on a goaltending call on McDaniel with 5:40 to play .
The Coyotes (6-3) kept the pressure on behind guard Stanley Umude, who scored 17 points and 13 rebounds. In one second-half stretch, he scored 10 consecutive points for his team. But it wasn't nearly enough.
"I thought Jaden was aggressive in the first half and Jamal Bey showed some good signs," Hopkins said. "But overall, there could have been more."
The Huskies, playing three games in seven nights, face Eastern Washington on Wednesday night.