HONOLULU – Washington coach Mike Hopkins loves his 2-3 zone defense.
He also knows when he needs to go to a different look.
Jaden McDaniels scored 22 points and the No. 22 Huskies pulled away from Ball State for an 85-64 victory in the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday.
Quade Green had 21 points for Washington (9-2), which shot 56% percent from the field and won for the seventh time in eight games. Isaiah Stewart added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Washington and Ball State exchanged a barrage of 3-pointers early on. After the Cardinals hit five 3s in the first 10-plus minutes, the Huskies switched to man-to-man defense and it worked out quite well.
“They scared me at first,” said Hopkins, a former assistant at Syracuse. “It takes a lot to get me out of the zone and they did it. They’re a really well-coached team with exceptional shooters. We went to a man and took away the 3-point shot, which is a huge part of their offense and it worked tonight.”
Green, a transfer from Kentucky, went 7 of 8 from the floor, including a 4-for-5 performance from 3-point range. McDaniels was 8-of-15 shooting and 4 for 7 from beyond the arc.
“I felt like we moved the ball. Isaiah Stewart gets so much attention that I thought we shared the ball well and made shots,” Hopkins said.
Tahjai Teague had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (6-5). Ishmael El-Amin had 13 points, and Jarron Coleman finished with 11.
Washington led 51-40 at halftime.
The Huskies went scoreless for the first 4:16 of the second half, and Ball State pulled within five at 51-46. But Washington responded with a 13-5 spurt capped by a Hameir Wright dunk with 8:54 to play.
Ball State made a stop in Atlanta before heading out to Hawaii. The Cardinals came away with a 65-47 win at Georgia Tech last Wednesday. They held the Yellow Jackets to a season-low 33.3% shooting. Both teams are taking part in the eight-team Diamond Head Classic and caught the same direct flight from Atlanta to Honolulu.
Washington was coming off a season-best 58.3% shooting performance in its previous game, an 81-59 win over crosstown rival Seattle last Tuesday. The Huskies continued their sharp shooting in the first half against Ball State. They hit 17 of 27 from the field.
Shortly after he was whistled for his third foul and committed a turnover on back-to-back plays, Washington’s Nahziah Carter picked up a steal before breaking away for a right-handed tomahawk dunk. After Ball State missed, Carter pushed the ball up court again before dishing to Wright for the jam with 8:54 left.
Ball State has lost its last five games against Pac-12 teams, dropping to 2-8 all-time against the conference. … The only other meeting between the schools came on Nov. 30, 1984, when the Huskies posted a 66-55 win over the Cardinals.
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