SEATTLE — True freshman Keyon Menifield made the most of his first collegiate start, scoring 21 points to help rally the Washington Huskies to a 75-67 victory over North Florida on Friday night.
Menifield got the start after early-season injuries left Washington (2-0) missing starters Keion Brooks Jr. and Noah Williams. Menifield replaced Brooks, who led the Huskies with 20 points in a season-opening 69-52 victory over Weber State.
Menifield scored 12 points in the first half and Washington trailed 34-28. The Huskies shot just 25.6% (10 of 39) from the floor before halftime and made only 1 of 10 tries from 3-point range.
Menifield’s fast-break dunk pulled Washington even at 42-42 with 15:23 remaining in the game. North Florida (0-2) moved back in front and stayed there until Menifield buried a 3-pointer off a steal by PJ Fuller II to give the Huskies a 56-54 lead with 7:19 left to play.
The lead changed hands three times until Jamal Bey buried a 3-pointer and followed with a layup to put Washington on top for good 65-61 with 3:58 to go.
North Florida trailed 69-61 when Jose Placer and Jarius Hicklen buried back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Ospreys’ deficit to two. Menifield scored in the paint with 44 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and then added two free throws 23 seconds later to preserve the win.
Franck Kepnang finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies. Bey added 14 points and seven boards. Cole Bajema grabbed 11 rebounds to go with seven points.
Hicklen led the Ospreys with 19 points. Jonathan Aybar added 12 points, while Jadyn Parker and Carter Hendricksen both scored 11.
The two programs played each other for the first time. Brooks transferred to Washington after three seasons at Kentucky.
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