SEATTLE — Senior point guard David Crisp couldn’t repeat exactly what was said by Washington head coach Mike Hopkins during the timeout after the Huskies fell behind following an 8-2 Washington State run to open the second half. But whatever the message was, it must’ve gotten across.
The Huskies (10-4, 1-0 Pac-12) scored 12 straight after the Cougars (7-7, 0-1 Pac-12) took their lone lead of the night before cruising to an 85-67 victory over their in-state rival in both teams’ Pac-12 opener Saturday night.
“Pretty much lit a fire under our butts,” Crisp said of the timeout message. “. Once we see him getting on us like that, it’s like we knew messed up so let’s get out there and correct it. . We just got back, sharpened up, and went on that run.”
Crisp scored a season-high 23 points and Jaylen Nowell added 20 as Washington earned its third consecutive victory and third straight over WSU.
“We were able to get the ball and push it in transition,” Hopkins said. “We had a really good shooting night, and when you do that you are going to win a lot of games.”
CJ Elleby and Jervae Robinson knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give Washington State a 46-45 advantage with 16:59 remaining and force a Washington timeout.
But the lead was short lived, as the Huskies found Noah Dickerson for a dunk out of the timeout. Nowell and Matisse Thybulle capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers, and the Huskies led by double figures the rest of the way.
“At the end of the day, all you are doing as a coach is trying to push the buttons to get them to respond,” Hopkins said. “Sometimes it’s shaking them and sometimes it’s waking them up.”
Following slow starts in their final two nonconference games, the Huskies came out firing in the opening minutes Saturday, knocking down their first four shots, including three 3-pointers, as they jumped to a 10-3 lead.
But the teams would trade runs before the Huskies took a 43-38 advantage in to the break. After the Cougars cut the UW lead to 16-13 following an Elleby jumper with 15:30 remaining, the Huskies scored the next 10 points to build their largest lead of the period. The Cougars answered by knocking down four 3-pointers as part of a 16-7 run to cut their deficit back down to one, at 33-32, before Nowell poured in eight of Washington’s final 10 first-half points, capped by a floater in traffic with one second remaining.
Playing without leading scorer Robert Franks for the second straight game, Elleby carried the load for the Cougars offensively, finishing with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Seattle native and graduate of nearby Cleveland High School has scored in double figures in 10 straight.
Thybulle added 17 points for the Huskies converting all four of his field goals, including three 3-pointers, and making 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
Crisp entered the night shooting just 38.9 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from 3-point range, but was an efficient 7-of-11, including 3 of 4 from deep, on Saturday.
“Once we are playing basketball the right way, making the extra pass, finding the open man, the ball is moving, you got flow in the offense and you see what happens,” Crisp said.
Robinson added 14 points for the Cougars, who dropped their fourth straight.
OREGON STATE 77, OREGON 72
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle had one thought when he saw his leading scorer grimacing in pain under the Beavers’ basket.
So when Tres Tinkle walked gingerly toward the bench, his father greeted him with a quick backhand to the backside.
Tres Tinkle scored 16 of his 28 points in the second half and Oregon State held off Pac-12 preseason favorite Oregon 77-72 on Saturday night.
“He rolls his ankle and I thought, ‘Here we go,’” Wayne Tinkle said. “I don’t know how much he scored after he came back, but I thought his defense presence and rebounds were key.
“And I know the team was a lot more relaxed once he got back out there.”
The younger Tinkle limped through most of the second half to lead the Beavers (9-4, 1-0) to their first road win in a conference opener in 26 years. The 6-foot-8 junior shot 9 for 15, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and made all six of his free throws.
GONZAGA 91, SANTA CLARA 48
Santa Clara never had a chance with No. 7 Gonzaga at full strength for the first time this season.
Rui Hachimura scored 25 points, Brandon Clarke added 16 and Gonzaga routed Santa Clara 91-48 to open defense of its West Coast Conference regular-season title.
“That was exactly what we wanted to do,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said about the impressive offensive and defensive performance. “We had our defense going. We were able to score in transition.”
With key contributors Killian Tillie and Geno Crandall back from injuries, Gonzaga (14-2) posted its 18th consecutive victory over Santa Clara since 2011. Josh Perkins had six points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Keshawn Justice scored 14 points, Josip Vrankic had 11 and Tahj Eaddy 10 for Santa Clara (9-7, 1-1). The Broncos had won six in a row.