Isaiah Stewart scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots on Tuesday night to lead 25th-ranked Washington to a 72-53 men’s basketball victory over the University of Maine at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
The Black Bears led 7-2 early, but the Huskies rattled off 15 unanswered points to take the lead for good.
Jaden McDaniels (4 assists) and Quade Green (4 rebounds, 3 steals) tossed in 11 points each for 3-1 Washington.
The 1-3 Black Bears were paced by 18 points each from Andrew Fleming (4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Nedeljko Prijovic (5 rebounds). Fleming scored 16 of his points after intermission, when Washington led 36-18.
Washington shot 47 percent from the field (28-for-60) and made 13 of 20 free throws (65) despite 3-for-15 shooting from the 3-point arc. The hosts also scored 20 points as the result of 20 UMaine turnovers — 14 in the first half.
The Black Bears emerged with a 35-32 rebounding edge and shot 41 percent (21-for-51) from the field with nine 3-pointers (9-for-27) and only two free throws.
UMaine jumped out to a 7-2 lead as Serbia native Prijovic hit the first of what would be his four 3-pointers in contest. The Black Bears were within four (17-13) after a hoop by Sergio El Darwich at the 8:20 mark.
However, Washington went on its game-changing run shortly thereafter. Elijah Hardy opened the surge with two free throws, then Nahziah Carter dunked on the fast break. Green’s layup in transition and another Carter dunk pushed the Huskies’ advantage to 25-13 with 5:21 remaining in the half.
A Green 3-pointer, Sam Timmins’ layup and yet another fast-break dunk by Carter made it 32-13 before Peter Stumer ended UMaine’s scoreless drought of nearly five minutes with a 3-pointer at the 3:28 mark.
El Darwich set a new career-high with nine rebounds on the evening, along with five assists and a single steal.
UMaine returns to the state for a 3 p.m. game Sunday at the Portland Expo against Maine Maritime Academy of Castine. It is the second game of a doubleheader, as the Black Bears’ women’s team plays Navy at 1 p.m.