After an appalling effort against Baylor on Sunday the Huskies continued to look like they’d been spending their time in Vegas as guest stars in The Hangover in a baffling 57-42 loss to UC Riverside that drops them to 0-2 on the year.
Quade Green immediately tied his points output from the opener as he hit a runner in the lane on the first possession to put the Huskies on top. From that point until halftime just about nothing went right for the Washington offense. The Dawgs were called for multiple moving screens and when they did get off an attempt it was one and done (0 offensive rebounds in the first half).
UC Riverside took advantage of Washington’s offensive woes to go on a 9-0 run sparked by 7’1 center Jock Perry. The Aussie big man took advantage of the natural hole in the zone at the free throw line and showed off the ability to consistently hit that shot. When the Huskies finally made the adjustment to try to stop it, Hameir Wright made contact with Perry’s arm for an and-1.
Perhaps nothing epitomized the first half like when Jamal Bey lost the ball attempting a crossover on the perimeter and expected Wright to go get the ball which had slowly dribbled 5 feet away from the basket. However, Wright thought Bey was going to chase it down and while both stared at one another a UC Riverside defender beat them both to it and raced down the court for a layup.
Erik Stevenson eventually joined Quade Green (who had 8 of UW’s first 9 points) as a reasonable offensive threat and hit a couple of tough shots while also getting the highlight of the half on a transition alley-oop dunk on a feed from Green. Washington had a chance to get right back into it but both Hameir Wright and Quade Green missed the front end of 1-and-1’s in the final 90 seconds to send it to the break a 29-22 UW deficit.
Things continued to spiral out of control at the start of the 2nd half as UC Riverside nailed a late shot clock 3-pointer and Perry got fouled and made both free throws to stretch the lead to a game high 12 points for the Highlanders. Quade Green continued to be Washington’s only source of offense as he drove and pulled up for a few free throw line jumpers but no one else gave him much of any help. The rest of the Huskies missed the first 5 three-point attempts in the first 8 minutes of the second half and Washington just could not close the gap.
But with about 8 minutes left it looked like Washington may have finally found some momentum. They scored baskets on 3 consecutive possessions for the first time all game. Hameir Wright finally hit a 3-pointer, Jamal Bey made a nifty backdoor cut for a dunk, and Quade Green hit a runner in the lane to bring the score within 6. After a possession with the best ball movement all day, Hameir Wright had a chance at a 3-pointer from the top of the key and it rimmed out. UC Riverside came back down and hit a baseline jumper to push it back to 8.
Washington would never get it any closer than that the rest of the way. Jock Perry led UC Riverside with 21 points while Quade Green finished with 18 for Washington.
If there’s any blessing in these results it’s that hardly anyone got to see them in a day game that was only broadcast on FloHoops. Given the way that Sunday’s game went there was a reasonable question as to whether Baylor was incredibly good, Washington was incredibly bad, or both. The answer appears to be either b or c.
This appears to be the worst loss of the Mike Hopkins era and it’s not particularly close. The Huskies fell at #241 California in the year they made the NCAA tournament but that was a last second 3-point loss. Today, Washington didn’t look competitive with a team that was #213 at KenPom.
Mike Hopkins spoke of a new offense that would emphasize perimeter shooting with 4-guard lineups. Washington finished 3/20 from deep after shooting 5/24 in their first game. Hameir Wright finished 2nd on the team in field goal attempts and was 1/10 from the 3-point line. Meanwhile, the Huskies had 0 offensive rebounds in the first half and just 5 total which I believe resulted in 0 second chance points. They’ve been bludgeoned on the boards in both games.
The defense played well enough to win. But there’s no overcoming an offense that completely listless. After the loss to Baylor I said the offense would go as far as Quade Green carries them. And that might be true since apparently no one else is possible of carrying them an inch further.
Washington is currently scheduled to open conference play on Thursday at Utah.