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Koren Johnson never reached the 20-point mark last season while averaging 19.5 minutes off the bench for Washington.

However, the sophomore guard excelled in his first career start in the Huskies' opener and now looks to follow up a 25-point outing when the Huskies battle Northern Kentucky on Thursday night in Seattle.

Johnson made 10 of 14 field-goal attempts and was 5 of 8 from 3-point range as the Huskies rolled to a 91-57 victory over Bellarmine on Monday.

"He is shooting the ball as well as anybody," Washington coach Mike Hopkins said of Johnson. "We've got some good guards, and he's playing exceptionally well right now."

Keion Brooks Jr. scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half of the opener, but the night belonged to Johnson, who scored 15 points on three occasions last season while averaging 6.8 points per game.

Washington (1-0) led by just eight at halftime Monday before outscoring Bellarmine 56-30 in the second half. The Huskies shot 69.7 percent after the break to finish the game at 62.1 percent.

Johnson fueled the charge by scoring 16 second-half points and making 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

"I feel like we all got to a slow start," Johnson said. "Just trying to figure how they were playing. They were really helping a lot and we were a little stagnant, just trying to drive. We finally opened up in the second half with fastbreaks and transitions and just went from there."

Northern Kentucky (0-1) fell behind early in its opener and lost 74-57 to host Middle Tennessee on Monday.

The Norse were down 20 little more than 12 minutes into the game, trailed 45-21 at halftime and went down by as much as 27 points.

Northern Kentucky coach Darrin Horn was not happy with the performance.

"Winning teams show up from the start and compete," Horn said. "Had we done that, we may not win, but you feel like you're in a game with a chance to do it. Just really disappointed."

Senior Marques Warrick scored 18 points to lead the Norse while Sam Vinson had 13 points and six rebounds.

Warrick (18.8 points per game) and Vinson (11.8) were the team's top two scorers last season -- a campaign in which Northern Kentucky went 22-13 and lost 63-52 to top-seeded Houston in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

--Field Level Media

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