If we could be sure of anything before this game it was that the game would come down to the last second and the refs would be terrible. Check and check. The Huskies came up short after Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson fouled out in overtime of a 69-66 defeat to Oregon State. In 3 meetings the two teams played to 3 total overtimes and each game was decided by 3 or less points.
Both teams looked at first like they had been enjoying Las Vegas a little too much the night before with some sluggish starts. Each team missed their first 3 shots before David Crisp hit a corner 3-pointer to give the Huskies the lead. After some more stagnant play, Crisp found Matisse in the corner on a beautiful no look pass in transition for a 3-pointer and a 10-5 lead. After a pair of blocks by Noah Dickerson, Crisp served up another beautiful assist on a lob to Nahziah Carter to go up 12-5.
Oregon State would recover a little bit from their poor offensive start though as the Husky offense collapsed. The Huskies went with a lineup without either Jaylen Nowell or Noah Dickerson for 3 minutes at the under 12 timeout that struggled mightily to score. That was exacerbated when both players picked up their 2nd foul by the under 8 timeout. Washington scored just 4 points in a 6 minute span as OSU took a 16-15 lead. The fouls just kept coming though as first Hameir Wright and then Sam Timmins each picked up their 2nd foul as well to make it 10 against UW and 5 for OSU.
After Timmins’ 2nd and some particularly poor play on his part he clearly got Hop’s message to be more aggressive. First he tried a one handed putback dunk that missed but got fouled on the rebound to give Drew Eubanks his 2nd foul. Then he backed down his defender and hit a layup off the glass for an and 1 and 3 points to tie it at 24. Matisse Thybulle moments later got his own and 1 on a thunderous reverse dunk and ultimately David Crisp got a layup as time expired to put Washington up 29-25 at the half as part of an 8-1 run. The late flurry meant Washington ended the 1st half shooting 37.9% to Oregon State’s 34.8% as the teams combined for just three 3-pointers. OSU shot just 8/14 from the free throw line.
Timmins stayed aggressive in the 2nd half although to mixed results. He hit his first shot of the half but got called for 2 fouls in 30 seconds and left the game with 4 of them. The Huskies kept trying to put the Beavers away but OSU answered back every time. It looked like UW should’ve been up 50-45 after Noah made a basket and was fouled but they called it on the floor and he made both to go up 4. But OSU quickly answered and tied it up.
But OSU continued their outburst this time and a 10-2 run made it 55-51 with 2 minutes left and it looked like the Huskies might fall apart. However, Matisse Thybulle kept the Dawgs alive blocking a pair of 3-pointers and hitting one of his own and the game was tied at 57 as UW had the ball with 37 seconds left. Jaylen Nowell front rimmed an isolation mid range jumper and OSU missed a 3 on the other end to send it to overtime.
Things went against the Huskies from the start in the bonus period. Jaylen Nowell quickly was called for a very iffy push-off which gave him his 5th and disqualified him. Shortly after, Dickerson was called for his 5th after replays showed his jersey touched the OSU player’s jersey but no contact was actually made anywhere. A Matisse Thybulle 3-pointer brought the Huskies to within one but the refs continued to bail out OSU. On consecutive possessions Hameir Wright was called for fouls with 2 or less seconds on the shot clock. OSU hit 3 of their 4 free throws.
The Huskies had the ball down by 1 with 0:22 seconds left but David Crisp threw it over Dominic Green’s head for a turnover. OSU made 1 of 2 free throws and Crisp drove for a layup on which there was a lot of contact but Eubanks went straight up. Given the way the refs called the game though it easily could’ve been a foul. A pair of OSU makes gave Washington one last shot but a half court launch from David Crisp hit the back iron.
Matisse Thybulle led the Huskies with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, but also 4 turnovers. Noah Dickerson had 15 points and 10 rebounds while David Crisp had 13 points on 16 shots.
UW finished the night shooting 38% from the field and just 29% from 3-point range. Jaylen Nowell continued his poor finish to the year with just 9 points on 4 of 12 shooting including a pair of blown layups on consecutive possessions with 5 minutes left in regulation.
The loss means the Huskies will have to sweat out an NIT appearance after Selection Sunday and ends what looked like a brilliantly promising season one month ago. But Washington finishes the year on a 3-6 skid. At some point in the next week I’ll remind myself that this year met or surpassed expectations from the preseason but it’s ok to feel frustrated and disappointed after the way this happened.
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