Huskies fall to 8-8 in the Pac-12 following their fourth straight road defeat. With two regular-season games left, UW's NCAA tournament hopes are on the rocks.
Let’s get this out of the way, Stephen Thompson Jr. traveled before draining a buzzer-beating three-pointer that handed Washington a heartbreaking 82-81 defeat and likely crushed its chances of securing an NCAA Tournament at-large berth.
Replays show the freshman guard took an extra step or two before rising up and launching the game-winner over Dejounte Murray as time expired.
Should the officials have made the call? Probably so. And not sure why they didn’t see it since it was the most pivotal play in the game.
“I was just trying to get as close to the basket as possible,” Thompson said during an postgame interview.
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UW fans also griped via social media about the game clock starting late in the final play. It’s difficult to tell on the video replay (below) if Oregon State had the benefit of a little extra time in the final 3.3 seconds.
But here’s the thing: The Huskies only have themselves to blame.
If they’re left out of the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year, then Washington will lament the nonconference home losses in December to Oakland and UC Santa Barbara. The Huskies will regret an 81-80 defeat two weeks ago at Colorado against a shorthanded Buffaloes team missing their best player.
And they’ll surely remember this one. If Washington had won those games, it would be 20-8 and 10-6 in the Pac-12 instead of 16-12 and 8-8.
Here’s a few takeaways from the game.
UW’S MISCUES ON THE LAST PLAY — Of course hindsight is 20/20, but not sure why the Huskies didn’t double team Thompson on the last play. It wouldn’t have been that tough. They could have put a guy on the inbounder and had him double team Thompson. With 3.3 seconds left, there would not have been enough time for Thompson to throw a pass and for that person to catch it and shoot it. Romar said Murray “contested the shot as well as you can contest a shot.” Give Murray credit for running alongside Thompson and getting a hand up without fouling. Romar also said Murray made a critical error when he allowed Thompson to get a running start to catch the inbound pass. Again, hindsight is perfect but not exactly sure why Marquese Chriss was standing alone in the paint guarding no one as the ball sailed in the net. It’s a crazy time. I get it. But a two-pointer doesn’t beat you and a three-pointer costs you the game – and likely the NCAA tournament.
MISSED FREE THROWS AND BEAVERS’ OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS COSTLY — Washington was ahead 79-73 with 1:48 left before Oregon State closed with a 9-2 run. In their final four possessions, the Huskies missed a three-pointer, committed a turnover and went 1 of 2 on free throws on their last two trips. That’s four possessions and two points. Not good. Down six points, Oregon State also had four possessions at the end. The Beavers got an offensive rebound and layup on the first trip. The next time, they got an offensive rebound and Tres Tinkle made an off-balance contested jumper just inside the three-point line. On the third trip, they got another offensive rebound before Tinkle drained two free throws. And Thompson hit the miracle runner on the last trip. Oregon State scored on its final four possessions and had three offensive rebounds. The Huskies can bemoan that missed travel call, but they were manhandled on the glass once again. UW was outrebounded 41-25, including 15 offensive rebounds for OSU. The Huskies had two. Oregon State also had 21 second-chance points and Washington had four.
BITTERSWEET ENDING FOR ANDREW ANDREWS — There were several NBA execs at Gill Coliseum and the pregame chatter was all about Chriss and Murray’s pro potential. The UW freshmen didn’t disappoint either. They showed next-level athleticism that could make them first-round picks in this summer’s draft. But Andrews was the best player on the court Wednesday night. He played like that dude who had never been to the NCAA tournament and was determined to carry his team to the Big Dance. When Washington trailed 49-45 at halftime, Andrews scored 21 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. He canned 6 of 9 three-pointers. The old man used his guile to induce the young Beavers into silly fouls and got to the line seven times – making six. That last missed foul loomed large because it would have given UW a three-point lead with 3.3 seconds left. Ahead by two points, the Huskies couldn’t intentionally foul Thompson and not allow him a chance at a game-winner. You can overlook Andrews’ five turnovers on a night when he collects a team-high six rebounds and dishes a game-high five assists in 38 minutes. It truly was an awesome performance that was reduced to a sidenote.