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Huskies fold to Golden Bears despite strong start

A 19-2 run to end the first half propelled Cal to a 72-59 victory over Washington Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena

William Mancebo

As an Andrew Andrews 3-pointer hit nothing but net to give the Huskies an early 27-15, many fans, including myself, thought the University of Washington men’s basketball team may be on the way to turning its season around.

But after a timeout by California head coach Mike Montgomery, the game was never the same, as the Golden Bears proceeded to dominate the rest of the afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena, finishing the half on a 19-2 before holding onto a 72-59 victory Saturday.

While the Huskies knocked on the door many times in the second half, trimming the deficit to six and eight multiple times, they were never able to get over the hump. A Ricky Kreklow three with just under six minutes remaining gave the Golden Bears a 59-50 lead, and the Huskies never threatened again.

After struggling defensively in the game’s early goings, the Golden Bears proceeded to shut down the Huskies for the rest of the afternoon. Cal held the Huskies to just 23-64 (36%) from the field, including 4-21 on 3-pointers. UW’s leading scorer C.J. Wilcox was held to just eight points on 4-12 shooting.

Sophomore Tyrone "Smoochie" Wallace led the scoring for the Golden Bears, finishing with 20 points on 6-14 shooting. The Bakersfield, Calif. native also added eight rebounds and four assists. Richard Solomon may have had the biggest night for Cal, scoring 18 points on 8-11 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.

Andrew Andrews scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Huskies after combining to score just 11 in the previous three games combined. The redshirt sophomore shot 8-18 from the floor, including 3-6 from three. He also grabbed eight rebounds, the second highest total for the Huskies Saturday.

Turnover problems plagued the Huskies, as they gave up the ball 14 times on the game to Cal’s nine. Nigel Williams-Goss finished with six turnovers on the afternoon, the most on the day for the UW.

The Huskies will hit the road to face the Oregon schools beginning with the Ducks on Wednesday Feb.19.

Game Dots

  • After scoring nine points in the game’s first six minutes, Williams-Goss definitely had an afternoon not worth remembering. The freshman finished the game 4-13 from the field for 12 points. His decision making was also forgettable, as he had six turnovers to just one assist. Let’s remember that he is still a freshman and has a long way to go.
  • Perris Blackwell had the most efficient stat line for the Huskies, scoring 10 points on 4-6 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. He was able to finish in the post without getting swatted and used his strength to get position on Cal’s lankier post players. Blackwell will need to put up lines like today if the Huskies want to have any success in whatever tournament they play in.
  • Despite being Cal’s leading scorer, Justin Cobbs was held to just 10 points on 3-11 shooting. He was able to impact the game in different ways, dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds.

Leave your thoughts and observations from today’s game in the comments section below.