Keion Brooks Jr. scored a career-best 32 points, collected 10 rebounds and matched his career high of three steals to lead Washington to a 75-67 nonconference victory over Northern Kentucky on Thursday night in Seattle.
Sahvir Wheeler added 18 points and seven assists for the Huskies (2-0). Wheeler missed the season-opening win over Bellarmine due to injury and was making his Washington debut after transferring from Kentucky.
Sam Vinson recorded 14 points and eight rebounds and Keeyan Itejere had 14 points and three blocked shots for the Norse (0-2). Michael Bradley added 11 points and seven assists and LJ Wells had 10 points.
Brooks’ previous career high was 30 points against Cal Poly last season. Also a former Kentucky player, he made two free throws with 16 seconds left to surpass that output as the Huskies closed out the win.
Washington shot 45.5 percent from the field and made only 3 of 17 shots from 3-point range. The Norse connected on 38.1 percent of their attempts and were just 3 of 17 from behind the arc.
Five consecutive points by Brooks gave the Huskies a 56-44 lead with 14:29 left.
Northern Kentucky answered with an 8-2 run and pulled within six on a layup by Vinson with 11:27 remaining.
Washington pushed its lead back to 66-56 on Wheeler’s two free throws with 6:43 left.
The Norse hung around and moved within 70-64 on Itejere’s dunk with 1:31 remaining. After the Huskies pushed the lead to nine, Bradley drilled a 3-pointer to again bring Northern Kentucky within six with 24 seconds left.
Brooks scored 13 first-half points and Wheeler added 10 as Washington held a 41-35 halftime lead.
Northern Kentucky used a 14-3 run to erase an early six-point deficit and take a 19-14 lead. Wells scored consecutive baskets to cap the run.
The Norse later led 26-20 on two free throws from Itejere with 6:36 left before the Huskies ran off nine straight points. Brooks culminated the burst with a basket to give Washington a three-point edge with 4:14 in the half.
Brooks later drained a 3-pointer to make it 39-33 with 51 seconds to play.
–Field Level Media
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