Washington avoided what might have been a costly victory in terms of standout freshman Markelle Fultz.
Fultz had 20 points, but apparently is OK after limping off late in the Huskies 87-61 victory over Oregon State on Saturday afternoon in a matchup of teams in search of their first Pac-12 conference victory.
With Washington firmly in control, Fultz and teammate Malik Dime both left with 2:22 remaining. Fultz initially clutched his ankle, while Dime appeared to have a finger injury.
“I don’t think there’s anything major with Malik, but Markelle is fine,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He tweaked his ankle, but we have a day off tomorrow and don’t play until Thursday.”
Fultz entered as the second-leading freshman scorer in the nation at 22.3 points per game, trailing only Kentucky’s Malik Monk (22.6).
Washington (8-7, 1-2) led 43-28 at the half, then opened the second half with a 13-2 run. The Huskies pushed the lead to 56-30 with 15:01 left on a dunk by Fultz, who had nine points during the spurt, as the Beavers missed six of their first seven shots after the break.
Oregon State (4-13, 0-4) was without leading scorer Tres Tinkle, who was injured Nov. 25, and has lost 9 of its last 10.
Drew Eubanks and JaQuori McLaughlin each had 19 points for the Beavers.
Matisse Thybulle added 17 points for Washington and Carlos Johnson came off the bench for 15 points, making 6 of 7 shots, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. David Crisp had 14 points and 10 assists.
“Winning the game was one thing today, but the way we did it was refreshing,” Romar said. “I just thought we did a lot of things the right way and had contributions from a lot of different players today.”
Oregon State also was without center Cheik N’diaye, who missed his eighth consecutive game with a shoulder injury, and reserve guard Daine Muller, out for the second straight game with a concussion. The Beavers bench was outscored 26-6.
The Huskies gained control with a 12-0 run early in the first half. A jumper by Stephen Thompson Jr. put Oregon State up 8-7 with 17:09 remaining. But, the Beavers missed their next six shots and committed three turnovers as the Huskies opened a 19-8 lead.
Gligorije Rakocevic hit a pair of free throws to bring Oregon State within 21-14, but Washington answered with a 9-3 run, pushing the lead to 30-17 on David Crisp’s lay in with 6:22 left in the half.
The Huskies maintained a double-digit advantage for the rest of the half.
Washington’s victory followed a team meeting the previous night.
“Usually we talk about the other team, last night we talked about the other team, but we spent a whole lot more time talking about us,” Romar said. “Just trying to identify some areas that if we didn’t change the mindset, that things that had been happening we’re going to continue to reoccur.”
Washington: The Huskies are at a critical juncture in their season: they have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2011; they have not finished above .500 in the Pac-12 since 2011-12 (14-4).
Oregon State: Sophomore forward Tres Tinkle (20.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) is expected to have his broken right wrist examined again next week. He was injured Nov. 25 against Fresno State.
Washington is on the road for a pair of Pac-12 games next week; at California on Thursday, Jan. 12 and at Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Oregon State is at No. 15 Oregon on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Stat Of The Night
Bothered by Washington’s press, Oregon State committed 15 turnovers, which led to 29 points by the Huskies.