Washington basketball went 0-2 in Northern California, falling to 1-3 in conference play at the hands of Cal, a major blow to their NCAA tournament resume
Washington basketball trailed for most of the game, but they were able to tie it up late and force overtime, but a three-pointer that Matt Bradley banked in with six seconds left in the OT period sealed the Huskies’ fate, 61-58.
The absence of point guard Quade Green showed up in a major way in both games. The Huskies lack a facilitator without him on the floor, and there were multiple key spots late against Cal where the Huskies really could’ve used a playmaker at the guard position.
Cal was able to smother Isaiah Stewart much like Stanford did on Thursday night, and the superstar freshman was held to 4/7 shooting, and he finished with just 13 points after going 5-6 from the free-throw line.
Jamal Bey and Jaden McDaniels both had a good night for the Dawgs, finishing with 12 points each. McDaniels seemed to roll his ankle late in the game, but stayed in for the rest of the second half and overtime.
The Huskies really struggled shooting the ball, going 18/61 from the field, and 8/32 from behind the three-point line. A lot of those threes came after the Huskies erased a 10-point deficit, and they got away from driving to the basket where they were finding success.
Mike Hopkins will have to find other scoring options when Stewart draws so much attention from the defense. Double-figures from McDaniels and Nahziah Carter are a big help, but they proved that they can’t do it all themselves. Hopkins is doing a lot of experimenting right now, giving redshirt freshman Nate Roberts a lot of time at forward, and true freshmen Marcus Tsohonis and RaeQuan Battle some time to prove themselves at guard early on, and they provided a spark off the bench.
If Washington wants to find a way back into the race for the Pac-12 championship, and a spot in the NCAA Tournament, they’ll have to sweep the Oregon schools at home next weekend, which is no small feat.