If you are trying to figure the University of Washington’s Men’s basketball team (14-6, 6-2 Pac-12) do yourself a favor and forgo the crystal ball routine. Trying to figure this team out will make one old quick. Look no further than Thursday nights game between Washington and UCLA.Washington overcome a furious 18 point rally by UCLA (12-9, 3-5 Pac-12) and went on to defeat the Bruins 86 to 84 Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion. The road win comes on the heels of last Saturdays inexplicable 75 to 80 overtime home loss to Utah.
Schizophrenic is a kind word to describe the Pac-12 Co-leaders ( Oregon 17-4, 6-2 Pac-12). The young dawgs have been winning just enough games to stay on top of the conference and tempt Husky fans with a hint of basketball renaissance. Washington has won four games in a row just twice this season and three in a row just once, UCLA 96-93 2OT Jan 1st, USC 87-85 Jan 3rd, and WSU 99-95 Jan 9th and WSU.
Thursday nights game was a microcosm of how the Huskies have been playing all season. Good, bad, ugly and just good enough again to win. The Huskies hit the half time break with a 19 point lead after shooting 51 percent from the floor and and hitting six 3-pointers for a 51 to 33 halftime lead. Washington’s inability to hold a lead made for some late game drama.
Bruin guard Bryce Alford scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes and rallied UCLA from an 18-point second-half deficit and gave the home side an 82-79 lead with 2:06 to play. Dominic Greens three pointer tied the game at 82 all with 1:06 and Andrew Andrews gave the Huskies the lead at 84-82 only to see Alford drill a jumper to tie the at 84 all with 28th seconds. Andrews clutch free throws with three seconds left, gave Washington the improbable win.
For Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar the securing of the W was all that mattered in the end. “Regardless of what happened, we got another road victory,” Romar said after the game. “You get a road victory, and I don’t care how you get it, it’s very, very valuable.”
Noah Dickerson led six Huskies in double figures with 15 points. Andrews added 12 points and Marquese Chriss also had 12 before fouling out. Issac Hamilton finished with 17 points and Tony Parker had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bruins (12-9, 3-5 Pac-12), who lost their second straight game.
With the win the Huskies completed a season sweep of the Bruins, having won 96-93 in double OT earlier this month in Seattle, Andrews scored 35 points in that game.