SEATTLE – Isaiah Stewart scored 18 points in just 15 minutes, Jayden McDaniels added 14 points and No. 25 Washington beat Montana 73-56 on Friday night.
The Huskies (4-1) relentlessly went to the paint – whether their center was on the floor or not – and used their length to stymie the Grizzlies and force 20 turnovers. Washington outscored Montana 38-10 under the basket and drew 34 fouls, hitting 22 of 28 free throws to power to the win.
It was the second straight win for Washington, which is on a seven-game nonconference homestand.
Kendall Manuel scored 15 points and Sayeed Pridgett had 13 for Montana (1-4), which has lost three straight.
The Huskies started the game on a 9-0 run and had an 11-point lead with 6:55 to go in the first half. But Montana used a 14-3 spurt fueled by a stretch of 5-for-5 shooting stretch to tie the score at 29 on Pridgett’s 10-foot jumper. The Huskies shot 1 for 10 to finish the half before Jamal Bey’s driving layup at the buzzer gave Washington a 31-29 lead at the half.
The Grizzlies forced Stewart into his fourth foul just 1:15 into the second half, then took their first lead of the game when Pridgett hit a 3-pointer to make it 32-31 with 17:58 to go.
The Huskies held it together while Stewart sat on the bench, though, and he returned with 8:46 to go. He was a foul magnet in the paint, drawing two free throws 25 seconds after he re-entered. He also had a block less than a minute after hitting the floor.
He hit 5 of 6 free throws over the final stretch while his teammates slowly pulled away by holding Montana scoreless for 3:43.
McDaniel hit a floater to make it 52-43 with 9:28 left, then threw down a putback dunk and drew a foul at 5:54 to make it 61-46.
Nahziah Carter added 13 points and seven rebounds for Washington.
Washington: The win didn’t come easy – again – for the Huskies, but every minute on the court counts for Washington’s inexperienced freshman as they prepare for a Dec. 8 showdown with Gonzaga.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.