If you were hoping Washington’s rough 74-65 home loss to Utah was a blip on the radar, a brief break from the brand of blue-collar basketball that resulted in four straight wins to open the conference season, well, it wasn’t. The Huskies began in Corvallis right where they left off in Seattle, falling behind by as many as 20 roughly halfway through the first half due to a mix of placid defense and sloppy turnovers.
Romar adjusted by switching his team into a zone defense, which paid off big in the form of a hail of inaccurate three-point attempts from the Beavers, and combined with a few nice plays and a half-court three from Abdul Gaddy, the deficit was cut to a hopeful 10 points.
Washington continued to run with the momentum in the second half, slicing the Beavers’ lead to one, but they couldn’t quit get over the hump down the stretch as Oregon State built back up to a double-digit lead with a handful of minutes remaining.
Wilcox finished with a team-high 23 points on 9-21 points and Aziz N’Diaye had a 10 and 10 double-double, but the team as a whole was held to 44% shooting (as opposed to 47% for OSU) and was out-rebounded 34-33, though that’s pretty much a wash. Also something to note: 7-14 free throw shooting.
As far as what the loss means? In my opinion, it means that this team is officially a mystery. If you’re a betting man, it’s probably safe to assume that the listless team we saw tonight shows up, but who knows if and when the team we saw win three in a row on the road in January will show up again. As of right now, this doesn’t look like a tournament team, but it is definitely still possible.