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Washington ekes out OT win over Saint Mary’s for Wooden title

Nov 24, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Washington Huskies guard PJ Fuller II (4) moves the ball against St. Mary's Gaels guard Augustas Marciulionis (3) and center Mitchell Saxen (11) during the first half at Anaheim Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Keion Brooks Jr. recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Washington post a 68-64 overtime victory over Saint Mary’s on Thursday night in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy at Anaheim, Calif.

PJ Fuller II scored 12 points and Koren Johnson added 11 for the Huskies (5-1). Franck Kepnang had 10 points before fouling out for Washington.

Mitchell Saxen registered 19 points and eight rebounds for Saint Mary’s (6-1). Alex Ducas scored 13 points, Aidan Mahaney had 11 and Kyle Bowen contributed 10 for the Gaels.

Braxton Meah made two free throws with 1:18 left in overtime to give Washington a 63-62 lead, and he blocked a shot by Bowen 11 seconds later. Brooks swished a turnaround shot with 44.3 seconds left, and Fuller hit two free throws with 15.3 seconds remaining to give the Huskies a five-point advantage.

A basket by Saxen allowed Saint Mary’s to creep within 67-64 with 3.7 seconds to go before Jamal Bey split two free throws with 2.8 seconds left to seal it.

Washington shot 44.2 percent from the field, including 5 of 13 (38.5 percent) from 3-point range. The Huskies committed 23 turnovers but held a 40-32 rebounding advantage.

The Gaels made 37.5 percent of their shots and were a lowly 6 of 29 (20.7 percent) from behind the arc. Saint Mary’s had 16 turnovers.

The Gaels led by five late in regulation, but Brooks nailed a jumper with 1:22 left and Bey converted a three-point play to tie it at 58 with 52.7 seconds left. The Gaels’ Logan Johnson missed a 3-point attempt with just under three seconds left.

Washington led 28-22 at halftime.

An inside basket by Kepnang gave the Huskies a 43-37 lead with 10:13 to play before Saint Mary’s answered with six straight points. Bowen’s layup knotted the score with 8:45 left.

Bey sank a basket to give the Huskies a 51-47 lead before the Gaels rattled off seven straight points. Mahaney hit a 3-pointer and Saxen added two inside baskets to account for the three-point lead with 3:21 remaining.

Brooks’ basket with 2:57 left moved Washington within one before Ducas twice made two free throws, the second pair giving Saint Mary’s a 58-53 lead with 1:43 left.

–Field Level Media