ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Isaiah Stewart opened his collegiate career by stealing a victory from a ranked foe.
The freshman made a go-ahead basket with 30 seconds left, Nahziah Carter scored 23 points and Washington beat No. 16 Baylor 67-64 on Friday night.
Carter hit a tying 3-pointer with 1:38 left. After Baylor missed a pair of 3-point tries, Stewart caught a pass in the lane and hit a short turnaround shot over a defender for Washington’s first lead since the opening minutes.
Stewart, a 6-foot-9 forward playing his first game, had 15 points and seven rebounds.
“We knew if we could just get shots and calm down, move the ball, we would be in good shape,” Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said.
Baylor failed to make a field goal over the final five minutes, allowing Washington to erase a 63-53 deficit.
“The last five minutes, we’ll learn a lot from, and hopefully get better at closing games in the future,” Bears coach Scott Drew said.
Carter shot 4 for 6 on 3-pointers in the Huskies’ season opener at the Armed Forces Classic. He added seven rebounds to help Washington overcome a 31-24 halftime deficit.
“We were saying we played the worst we possibly could, and we weren’t down that many points,” Carter said.
Jaden McDaniels had 18 points and seven rebounds for Washington.
Jared Butler had 18 points for the Bears (1-1). Freddie Gillespie had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The 5,000-seat arena was packed with members of the military and their families who received complimentary tickets. More than 22,000 Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel, and 4,700 Guardsmen and Reservists are based in Alaska. The event rotates among military bases throughout the world. Marines will host next year at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The site was officially neutral, but the crowd turned partisan and loud for Washington as the Huskies drew close and finally went ahead in the closing minute.
Baylor’s preseason All-Big 12 forward, Tristan Clark, missed the second half of last season with a knee injury and scored only three points in the home opener against Central Arkansas. He played 29 minutes against Washington and scored seven points.
Baylor: The Bears cruised in their opening 105-61 victor over Central Arkansas and figured to have a tougher time with Washington. Baylor was ready for the Huskies’ 2-3 zone defense and came out firing from long range. Washington responded down the stretch with more height on the perimeter.
Washington: The Huskies lost 80% of their scoring production from last year and hope to replace it with freshmen recruits Stewart and McDaniels.
Washington returns home to face Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night.
Baylor has a week off and will face Texas State on Nov. 15 at home.
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