The Washington men’s basketball team has had a season of ups and downs, highlights and mishaps, upset wins and mind blowing losses. Wednesday’s Pac-12 tournament opener against Utah was no different.
The UW found itself trailing 34-24 at halftime, and the team looked like they would fold over before they even had gotten their feet settled in Las Vegas. The Huskies responded in a big way to begin the second half. With every ball bouncing their way, the Huskies tied the game at 60 with under a minute remaining.
Then with under a minute left, the shot clock running down, and the Huskies scrambling on defense, Dakari Tucker found himself wide open for a three pointer. He proceeded to knock down the shot that ultimately ended the UW’s 2013-14 season, as the Utes went on to beat the Huskies 67-61 in the first game of the Pac-12 tournament.
After shooting 27% and getting outrebounded 23-14 in the first half, the Huskies came out firing to begin the second half. A Nigel Williams-Goss three pointer put the Huskies up 48-47 with seven and half minutes remaining. The Utes were unable to find the bottom of the net and every ball seemed to bounce the Huskies way.
Both teams continued to battle back and forth, as neither team could take control of a lead. With just over a minute remaining in the second half, redshirt junior Desmond Simmons tipped in a missed shot and was fouled, giving the Huskies a 59-58 lead. The lead was the last the UW would take.
The Huskies were led by two freshman, as Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson combined to score 31 points. Johnson tied a career-high with 16 points off the bench in his best game as a Husky. Williams-Goss scored 15 points, 13 coming in the second half, and collected five rebounds and three assists.
In his last meaningful game (the Huskies will most likely play in a postseason tournament) as a Husky, C.J. Wilcox finished with 14 points on 4-15 shooting.
Delon Wright stuffed the stat sheet once again for the Utes, scoring a team-high 15 point to go along with his seven rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.
The Huskies will most likely find themselves in the NIT, worse case the CBI, after today’s loss. The Utes will face Arizona tomorrow, who the Utes took to overtime before losing 67-63 in February.
- With Andrew Andrews suffering from food poisoning, Darin Johnson stepped up in a big way for the Huskies. You can clearly see that he has the natural talent, but sometimes he just looks a little lost out on the court. Utah was denying passes when Johnson had the ball, forcing him to make a play, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Hopefully this is the just the beginning of great performances by Johnson.
- The Huskies missed a lot of layups in the first half! Gohuskies.com writer Gregg Bell counted six missed chippies for the Huskies in the first half, according to his Twitter feed. No wonder the Huskies only scored 24 points in the first half, and obviously they could used all of those layups in such a close game
- After Wilcox was beat back door and earned his second foul, putting him on the bench, the Utes responded with an 11-0 run that led to them controlling the first half. The Huskies aren't a good enough team to put themselves in a big hole, and it cost them on Wednesday. Not the defense you would be expect from a fifth year senior, but you cant take anything away from Wilcox, who had a phenomenal final season of his UW career.