SEATTLE (AP) — Noah Dickerson’s point-a-minute efficiency was too much for Kennesaw State.
Dickerson scored 24 points in 24 minutes and Sam Timmins added 13 points as Washington rolled to an 85-71 victory over the Owls on Tuesday night.
“Deep post position is hard for anybody,” said Dickerson, who did most of his damage underneath the basket. “If I get it deep and getting a shot toward the basket, it’s hard for anybody to do anything with that.”
Washington (5-2) gained control with a 24-6 run to close the first half to take a 48-29 lead into the break. The Huskies led by at least 16 until the closing seconds.
“The difference in the ballgame was in the first half,” said Kennesaw State coach Al Skinner. “It was 24-23 and they really just kind of blitzed us, and we didn’t respond very well to it. We’ve got to learn from it. But, overall after that, I think we settled down, but by that time they were pretty comfortable.”
James Scott had 21 points, Nick Masterson 15 and Kosta Jankovic 13 for the Owls (1-6).
Kennesaw State had no answer inside for the 6-foot-8 Dickerson and Timmins, a 6-11 sophomore from New Zealand. Dickerson made 8 of 9 from the field and 8-of-10 free throws, grabbed eight rebounds and added four assists. Timmins also had 8 rebounds to pace Washington to a 40-21 advantage on the boards.
“Size is always going to be a factor,” Skinner said. “What we initially needed to do, we didn’t do well. But, he’s a good player. He scores against almost everybody he plays against. We’re not at all surprised. We didn’t expect him to have that type of shooting percentage, so you have to give him credit for the hard work that he did to shoot the ball that well.”
Hamier Wright added 12 points for Washington, which got 29 points from its bench as 11 different players scored. Bryson Lockley scored all 10 of Kennesaw State’s points off the bench.
The Owls stayed close early, pulling within 24-23 on a layup by Scott, before the Huskies went on their decisive run.
“We started closing out, we took away the three-point shot, we made it very difficult,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “They got late in the shot clock where they had to take some crazy shots and we were able to capitalize, get in transition and make some plays. That’s where the separation happened.”
Kennesaw State made just one of its final nine shots in the first half and went without a field goal over the final 3:32. The Owls also had 12 first-half turnovers, which led to 12 Washington points.
Dickerson had 17 points in 15 first-half minutes.
“At times, we were effective and other times we weren’t,” Skinner said. “Our inconsistency is what cost us the game tonight.”
Washington: The Huskies victories have come against mid-majors with losses against Providence and Virginia Tech. A road game against Kansas on Dec. 6, followed by a home game against Gonzaga on Dec. 10 should indicate how much progress has been made under first-year coach Mike Hopkins.
Kennesaw State: The Owls, who won 14 games last season and advanced to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament semifinals, are difficult to assess due to a rugged non-conference schedule that includes road losses at Butler and Florida State. The Owls have not beaten a Power 5 team since Georgia Tech in 2010.
NOWELL’S STREAK SNAPPED
Washington freshman guard Jaylen Nowell played just 22 minutes, finishing with six points on 3-of-9 shooting, the first time he has not scored in double figures. Nowell, who has scored 20 or more four times, did dish out four assists.
KENNESAW ‘S SCHEDULE
“It doesn’t give us any benefit to play schools we can just naturally beat. At the end of the day, we have to win our conference in order to get to the NCAA Tournament,” Skinner said. “And, you’ve got to be able to win on the road, so we’ve got to go out and play people. I know what the schedule is. I set it up for this reason. Hopefully, when we do get to league play, we’ll be prepared to attack them.”
Washington concludes a four-game home stretch against Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday
Kennesaw State continues it Pacific Northwest visit at Seattle University on Thursday.