Another game and another tough loss to a Top 25 team for the Washington Huskies. The Huskies travelled to Pauley Pavilion to face the #13 ranked UCLA Bruins which would mark the 3rd straight game versus a ranked Pac 12 team.
The Bruins would offer a different type of challenge and were short handed without leading scored Johnny Juzang (17 ppg) and Forward Cody Riley (8 ppg) but it would be more of the same today as the Huskies fall 76-50 to a strong looking UCLA team that is looking to make their way back to the Final 4. The Huskies fall to 13-12 and 8-7 in the Pac 12 Conference, 6th place in the standings.
Just like the two previous games, Washington was able to get out to another quick start early on, leading 6-0 and UCLA had not scored a point going into the under 16 timeout (0/8 from the field). PG Tyger Campbell also got injured on the first possession of the game so things were looking like it might be going Washington’s way early on.
Juco Transfer Langston Wilson got his first career start, which seemed to look like a good move early with UCLA missing shots but Wilson quickly picked up 3 fouls and sent to the bench.
Things would quickly unravel after the first Media timeout and UCLA was able to tie the game off a few mid range shots and multiple offensive boards early on. Tyger Campbell would also return and then it was the Huskies turn to battle an injury as Emmitt Matthews got hit in the head and went to the UW locker room for a moment. Matthews had gotten off to a good start, hitting two early field goals before the injury. He would later return for a few minutes but UCLA had done some damage in the meantime.
The Huskies offense would stall again and it seemed like UCLA could not miss, especially from 3. A key play in the game early on that may have set the tone would be Terrell Brown going for a patented layup, but this time would be rejected by Myles Johnson and led to a transition three-pointer for David Singleton. Singleton has had success against UW in the past and he would hurt the Huskies again today, hitting 4 three pointers in the 1st half and finish with a career high 22 points (6 total 3-pointers). Most of them wide open and nothing but the bottom of the net.
Offensive rebounds would be an issue for the Huskies again and it was Myles Johnson doing a lot of the damage, grabbing 13 boards overall and 7 offensive boards in the game. The Bruins would collect 11 offensive boards that led to 21 second chance points that would terrorize the Huskies all game. A few times led to open three’s after the Huskies had played 20+ seconds of defense to force a miss. Deflating would be an understatement.
Terrell Brown was constantly guarded by taller opponents and had to earn his points all game. Matthews got off to nice start but didn’t score after the injury and only Jamal Bey could find any offense all game.
The Huskies Get Blasted in the 2nd Half
Down 12 at halftime, it would be important for the Huskies to come out strong early on and not let the game get away. That unfortunately did not happen and even worse, Emmitt Matthews did not start the 2nd half or return the rest of the game. UCLA would jump out with a 14-1 run to start the 2nd half and the Huskies looked ready to head home early on.
Nothing was going right in the 2nd half and even Terrell Brown couldn’t get much going. It took a Brown layup with 11 seconds left to crack 50 points for the Huskies, which would be the lowest scoring game of the year for the Huskies.
It’s hard to say if this was the worst performance of the season due to the elite competition but it is certainly a very disappointing performance. UCLA could very well be playing in the Final 4 and both teams were missing key players but the last 30 minutes of this game will be forgettable.
UCLA’s depth clearly was the difference with Jaylen Clark (25 points) and David Singleton (22) both having career scoring games, while PJ Fuller was the only UW player off the bench to make any real impact with 10 points. Washington was clearly missing Daejon Davis and Emmitt Matthews (Head injury) in the 2nd half but not much they could have done besides perhaps making this a more competitive game.
UCLA is one of the top teams in the country in taking care of the ball and it showed tonight with only 7 turnovers and Washington finished with only 4 steals. Two of those steals coming in garbage minutes when the game was already out of hand. The competition has increased but if the Huskies can’t get out in transition, it will be hard for the Huskies to compete.
Terrell Brown leads the team in scoring again with 13 points and Jamal Bey was the only other guy to have any success with 12 points and 11 rebounds but not a lot of team ball tonight with only 5 assists and the Huskies fail to surpass 36% shooting from the field for the 3rd straight game.
Washington will try to lick their wounds and head back to Seattle to play a rivalry game against the Washington State Cougars in a game that could play some importance in the middle of the Pac 12 standings.