At 7-foot-6, UC-Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye is the tallest player in college basketball.
That means almost no opponent has a precise match for him. The Washington Huskies had particular trouble Thursday, and paid for it with an 86-72 loss at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The Anteaters blew open a close game with a 27-3 run through the closing minutes of the first half and the start of the second.
Junior forward Will David II led Irvine with 22 points. Meanwhile, Ndiaye, a freshman, made his presence known across the stat sheet: 18 points, nine blocked shots and eight rebounds.
Much of the responsibility for guarding Ndiaye fell to UW’s 6-foot-9 transfer, Perris Blackwell, who tried to use muscle and leverage from 10 inches below. UW was playing without 6-10 Jernard Jarreau, who suffered a season-ending right-knee injury in the opener against Seattle U,
Senior C.J. Wilcox led Washington with 24 points. Mike Anderson came off the bench to lead UW with eight rebounds.