Green, Dime step up for Washington, 86-47 over W. Kentucky
LAS VEGAS (AP) Washington freshman guard sensation Markelle Fultz had his first off night shooting.
His teammates were ready to step up and take over the scoring.
Dominic Green had a career-high 20 points with six rebounds, Malik Dime added 13 points and Washington beat Western Kentucky 86-47 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center on Friday night.
''I didn't see (Dominic) as superhuman or wow, he's on tonight,'' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. ''He's had many practices like that. To see him regain that touch was very encouraging for us.''
The Huskies (4-1) outscored the Hilltoppers 47-16 in the second half.
''We emphasize to share the ball,'' Green said. ''At halftime, we knew we had (defensive) breakdowns in the first half. We had a lot of intensity out there in the second half.''
Green was 7 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Que Johnson led Western Kentucky (3-2) with 12 points and five rebounds. Anton Waters had 11 points and 10 rebounds while Pancake Thomas has 10 points for the Hilltoppers.
Sam Timmins had 12 rebounds for Washington, which only trailed for 32 seconds of the game and had its largest lead of the first half at 34-21 with 3:51 left. The Hilltoppers cut it to 39-31 by halftime.
Then came the second half, something Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury said his team broke down in all facets.
''"It was a seven-point with 16 minutes left to go, from that point on, we just had bad, bad turnovers and bad execution,'' he said. ''We had some missed shots, some quicker shots - and Green jumped on us in the second half.''
Washington: The Huskies should feel good about how Fultz responded to a cold shooting night by contributing in other ways and ending the night a point and two boards short of a triple-double.
Fultz, who was averaging 25.5 points per game coming in, was held to nine points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field. However, Fultz ended with 10 assists and eight rebounds, going over his season averages of 6.5 and 5.3, respectively. He also blocked three shots.
''Even when (Fultz) doesn't put the big numbers on the board, he has a major impact on the game,'' Romar said.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers fell short in their first serious test of the season. They'll have to put it quickly behind them to bounce back on the second night of the tournament. Western Kentucky on Friday played its first of seven straight road games. They do not return home to play until Dec. 21 against Ohio.
After leading 39-31, the Huskies potent offense, averaging 95.0 points per game, started getting in rhythm, opening up a 68-44 lead with 7:24 left for their largest lead to that point. From there, they rolled with an 18-3 run to close the game.
''I felt like we really made them work in the second half,'' Romar said. ''(Western Kentucky) had some open looks in the second half, but we probably just wore them out.''
Washington: The Huskies advanced to play TCU in Saturday night's final.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers face tournament host UNLV on Saturday.