When Washington coach Mike Hopkins was asked about his new point guard, he came up with a mixed metaphor.
Hopkins, whose team plays Nevada on Wednesday, compared Terrell Brown Jr., a transfer from Arizona, to former New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera.
"He's like the greatest closer," said the Huskies coach, who became a Yankees fan during his time as an assistant at Syracuse.
Brown scored a career-high 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting Tuesday as Washington defeated South Dakota State 87-76 in the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Huskies (4-2) will play the Wolf Pack (2-4) in their final game of the tourney on Wednesday.
After Washington took a 42-32 halftime lead, the Jackrabbits closed within four with eight minutes left. Brown scored the Huskies' next seven points and he later sank two free throws to make it 82-70, and South Dakota State never got within single digits the rest of the way.
"In the second half, we knew they were going to make a run and we brought in a guy named Mariano Rivera," Hopkins said.
On the opening day of the tournament, Brown scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half as the Huskies held off George Mason 77-74.
"He's incredible," PJ Fuller said of Brown, who was also a teammate at Seattle's Garfield High. "He's one of the best bucket-getters I've ever played with. He's very poised. His IQ level is through the roof. He's just a very intelligent basketball player."
The Wolf Pack snapped a four-game losing streak with an 88-69 victory against George Mason on Tuesday. Grant Sherfield scored 31 points and Desmond Cambridge Jr. added 21 in the victory.
It has been a tough start for Nevada, which announced earlier in the day that forward AJ Bramah, who averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds at Robert Morris last season, was dismissed "due to conduct detrimental to the team."
"We're in the midst of a storm, and facing that adversity, you've got a chance to grow," Wolf Pack coach Steve Alford said. "You get smacked (in a 102-75 loss to South Dakota State on Monday), then win by 20 ... it's a wild game."
--Field Level Media