Andrew Andrews, who finished with 12 points, was one of six Huskies who scored in double figures. Washington had a big lead at the half but nearly blew it thanks to foul trouble.
LOS ANGELES — The Huskies built a 19-point lead in the first half Thursday but nearly gave it all away in the second half, setting up another dramatic finish with UCLA.
Once again, Andrew Andrews and Bryce Alford took turns trading clutch shots in the final minutes. Alford buried several jumpers that carried the Bruins during their comeback, but Andrews has a habit of making the biggest plays at the biggest moments.
He did it again, leading the Washington men’s basketball team to an 86-84 victory.
UW men @ USC, noon, Pac-12 Networks
“I don’t try to do anything, it’s just somehow those plays happen for me,” said Andrews, who scored the final four points — on game-tying and game-winning free throws in the final 26 seconds.
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“I’m just at the right place at the right time. I’m not looking to be that guy or claiming I’m that guy. I just fell into it.”
More accurately, 6-foot-9 senior center Tony Parker fell into Andrews with 3.4 seconds left after the UW guard pumped faked to get him in the air and draw the foul.
“I remember one time I came off (a screen) and I shot it and Tony Parker jumped even before I had a chance to shoot it, which made me shoot it short,” Andrews said. “So I knew this time I would be able to get him in the air and just jump straight up and get a foul.”
The play was reminiscent of a ploy Andrews used in the waning seconds against Washington State, when the officials didn’t give him the call after what appeared to be an obvious foul. This time, the whistle blew and Andrews walked to the charity stripe with the game on the line.
The Huskies felt optimistic about their chances with Andrews, the Pac-12 scoring leader who shoots 84.1 percent on free throws.
“He’s making them both,” freshman forward Noah Dickerson said. “No doubt in my mind. He loves those types of moments. He’s making them both. Automatic.”
Meanwhile, coach Lorenzo Romar couldn’t relax because he remembered a heartbreaking 62-61 defeat at UCLA on Jan. 22, 2010 when the Huskies lost on a 19-foot buzzer-beater at the top of the key.
Romar and the crowd of 6,843 exhaled once Isaac Hamilton’s three-pointer at the buzzer bounced away. The Huskies snapped their three-game losing streak at Pauley Pavilion.
Following a 96-93 double OT win in the Pac-12 opener earlier this month, the Huskies swept the regular-season series against the Bruins for the first time since 2011.
Washington also improved to 14-6 and remained on top of the Pac-12 at 6-2, in a first-place tie with Oregon.
“Regardless of what happened, we got another road victory,” Romar said. “You get a road victory, and I don’t care how you get it, it’s very, very valuable.”
Plagued by an avalanche of fouls in the second half and the loss of three players (Marquese Chriss, Matisse Thybulle and Malik Dime) who fouled out, the Huskies nearly ran out of bodies and gas in the final minutes.
Alford put UCLA on top with a three-pointer at the 2:04 mark. Then UW sophomore wing Donaven Dorsey answered with a game-tying three from the corner with 1:20 left.
That’s when Andrews closed it out.
He finished with 12 points and was one of six Huskies who scored in double figures. Dickerson led UW with 15 points while Chriss had 12. David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle each scored 11 and Dominic Green had 10.
“Great team effort,” Andrews said. “Donaven Dorsey comes in and hits that huge three. … Noah probably played one of his best games of the year.
“Matisse kept us going in the first half. We got to figure out the second-half thing. We’re glad to come out with the win, but if we want to stay at the top … we’ve got to figure out how to play a full 40 minutes.”
Afterward, Romar bemoaned being outscored 51-35 in the second half. However, he was thrilled with result.
“This is a special, special win for us,” he said.
The Huskies conclude the Los Angeles road trip noon Saturday with a game at USC.
• Andrews moved past Steve Hawes (1,516 points) into 10th place on Washington’s all-time scoring list with 1,525. He’s 23 points behind James Edwards (1,548) who is ninth.
• Freshman forward Devenir Duruisseau made his first appearance Thursday since missing the past four games due to a concussion suffered in practice two weeks ago.
|Thursday’s resultsArizona St. 86, Oregon St. 68Oregon 83, Arizona 75UW 86, UCLA 84USC 81, Washington St. 71|