What we learned from uw’s second-round nit loss to saint mary’s the news tribune where is university of kansas

Once down by 16 points in the third quarter, it appeared receiving a commitment from a four-star center was going to be the lone bright spot monday for the washington huskies.

Then came a late crack at a rally. UW connected on six of its final eight shots and cut saint mary’s lead to three points several times within the final four minutes.

Saint mary’s guard jordan ford kept draining field goals and free throws to end the huskies’ season with a 85-81 loss in a second-round NIT game at mckeon pavilion in moraga, calif.

UWcloses the year with a 21-13 record in mike hopkins’ first season. Hopkins’ 21 victories are the third-most wins by a first-year coach in program history.

The gaels shot 56.4 percent from the floor in the game but were a blistering 61.5 percent from the field in the second half.

They also went 9-for-15 for 60 percent from the 3-point line.Going forward

It’s another reason why the gaels entered the evening with the highest field goal percentage in the nation at 51.7 percent and sixth in 3-point shooting. MORE THAN A DUNKER

Freshman guard nahziah carter can attack the rim with ease. That’s not exactly a secret. But his ability to hit 3-pointers was a bit surprising.

Carter went 4-for-4 and finished 5-for-7 for 14 points in the final game of his first year. Keep in mind, carter didn’t even record four total 3-pointers throughout the entire month of february and his team’s four previous games in march.

The 14 points are the most he’s scored since putting up a career-best 17 nearly a month ago in a loss at stanford. It’s another sign he’s starting to find his place within the huskies’ setup.

Go back to jan. 18. He played eight minutes in a loss at utah and only two minutes in a win at colorado.Nahziah carter since then, he’s received more than 10 minutes in all but one game.

Carter took an aggressive approach to work on his 3-point shot over the final month of the season. He would spend a ton of time in pre-game warmups shooting 3-pointers.

He’s shown the athleticism needed to pull off memorable dunks. Plus, carter enjoys taking on opponents in one-on-one situations as evidenced by the fact he’s always working on that part of his game with assistant will conroy.

Should carter continue to develop his shot, he could be on the verge of being a key player for UW going into next season. A WALK TO REMEMBER? OR ONE TO FORGET?

It underlines two areas going forward. Winning close games and winning on the road. Hopkins, throughout february, said UW was struggling to find energy at times.

Hopkins may have a solution to his power problem.Nahziah carter UW returns all five starters plus key bench players in michael carter III, nahziah carter, dominic green and hameir wright. But they’re expected to add four recruits from their 2018 class which should give the huskies flexibility going forward.

Then it becomes a matter of how UW can win on the road. The huskies were 16-4 at hec edmundson pavilion but went a combined 5-9 in neutral site and road games.

UW was 5-6 in pure road games and the huskies will likely have to clean up their record away from the triple A should they want to make a run at the NCAA tournament next season.

This year’s 68-team field had 26 teams finish with a pure road record (no neutral site games) below .500 but eight of those teams won their respective conference tournaments and received an automatic bid.

Washington began the year picked to finish tenth in the pac-12 but a 10-3 non-conference start highlighted by a win over then-no. 2 kansas increased those expectations.It’s another

A 17-6 mark with additional wins over NCAA tournament-bound teams arizona, arizona state and montana gave UW a strong resume as of early february.

It’s still being debated whether or not saint mary’s (30-5) should have made the NCAA tournament. Take the gaels out of the equation. The huskies sill lost six games in the final stretch of the year to teams that missed the tournament.