SEATTLE — Jaylen Nowell scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, Noah Dickerson added 16 points, and Washington held off a late rally to beat San Diego 66-63 on Monday night.
Washington led 55-47 with 10 minutes left, but watched the Toreros turn the final seconds into an uncomfortable finish for the home team. Nowell’s two free throws with 25 seconds left ended up giving the Huskies (2-1) the cushion they needed and forced San Diego to try a contested 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Tyler Williams had a look at a corner 3-pointer for the Toreros, but it hit off the front rim and the Huskies were able to escape with the victory.
Nowell hit 6 of 11 shots, but Washington’s offense again lagged. Nahziah Carter added 11 points off the bench.
Olin Carter III led the Toreros (2-1) with 17 points and Isaiah Pineiro added 14 despite foul trouble that limited his time in the first half. Yauhen Massalski had 12 points and 11 rebounds and helped the Toreros take a 32-31 lead at halftime.
San Diego scored 16 straight points that spanned the end of the first half and opening minutes of the second and took a nine-point lead with 16 minutes left. That’s when Washington erupted on a 19-2 run that appeared it would be enough to shake the Toreros. Hameir Wright’s 3-pointer gave the Huskies a 55-47 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
But San Diego didn’t go away, scoring 12 of the next 14 points and taking a 59-57 lead on Isaiah Wright’s 3-pointer. Dickerson pulled Washington even at 59-all and two free throws from Hameir Wright gave the Huskies a 61-60 lead. Two more free throws from Dickerson gave Washington a 63-60 lead with 1:46 left. After a San Diego turnover, David Crisp split free throws, but Pineiro scored in the lane with a minute left to cut the lead in half.
Dickerson appeared to have a clean look underneath but his shot was blocked by Massalski, who in turn was fouled at the other end on a scramble. He hit the first, but the second rimmed out. Nowell was fouled and hit both free throws, and Washington escaped.
Washington’s road trip and loss to No. 9 Auburn was forgettable for multiple reasons. First, the Huskies played poorly in the 88-66 loss that dropped them out of The AP Top 25. Turned out that was just the start. Freshman Elijah Hardy broke his left hand in the few moments he played against the Tigers and is likely to miss six weeks. And the Huskies bus caught fire as it made its way to the airport for the charter flight back to Seattle. The majority of Washington’s gear and equipment was undamaged in the fire.
San Diego: The Toreros first foray against a Pac-12 opponent has to be considered successful. The Toreros have three more chances to get a win against a Pac-12 team this season, including Colorado at home next week.
Washington: The starting backcourt of Matisse Thybulle and Crisp had a combined 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting. That’s not good enough for the Huskies to be successful offensively.
San Diego: The Toreros return home to face San Diego Christian on Thursday.
Washington: The Huskies begin play in the Vancouver Shootout on Sunday vs. Santa Clara.