Andrew Andrews scored a career-high 35 points, including a game-winning three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, to lift Washington to an 87-84 triumph over Washington State on Sunday night.
PULLMAN — With one shot — a rainbow three-pointer that seemingly hung in the air forever before splashing perfectly through the net — the Huskies released a month’s worth of frustrations.
The Washington men’s basketball team needed a little bit of February madness to stage an 87-84 win Sunday over cross-state rival Washington State and snap its seven-game losing streak.
But mostly they needed a brilliant performance from their daredevil, Andrew Andrews. The junior guard tallied a career-high 35 points, including another game-winning jumper in the final seconds.
“Always being ready,” said Andrews, who scored the go-ahead basket on a 25-foot three-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining. “With the ball or without the ball, if it comes to you make a play.”
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Andrews described the seven-game skid as a roller coaster. He bemoaned UW’s late-game execution that resulted in losses to California and Oregon.
In front of 5,567 at Beasley Coliseum, the Huskies made all the right plays when it mattered most. In a game in which neither team led by more than five points in the second half, Washington didn’t rattle.
More to the point, Andrews kept his cool in the clutch and the Huskies relied heavily on his red-hot shooting.
He scored 22 points in the second half. He converted 11 of 18 field goals, including 6 of 12 from downtown and 7 of 7 at the free-throw line.
“We just fought,” Andrews said. “This game we broke it down to four minutes. We tried to win each four-minute quarter because you have a TV timeout every four minutes. So every four minutes we wanted to see if we could win that four minutes instead of focusing on the whole game and letting it unravel.”
The Huskies needed every point Andrews could give because Washington State wasn’t going away easily. The Cougars were equally impressive offensively. They shot 55.3 percent from the field and 66.7 percent (8 of 12) on three-pointers.
DaVonte Lacy led WSU (11-15, 5-9) with 23 points, while Josh Hawkinson had 17 points and 14 rebounds for his Pac-12-leading 16th double-double. The Cougars also received 16 points from Que Johnson, and Jordan Railey had 10.
“Defensively, we didn’t get it done,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said. “We can’t let a guy score 35 points like that.”
It wasn’t just Andrews who crushed the Cougars. Nigel Williams-Goss finished with 20 points and six assists. The Huskies (15-11, 4-10) also committed just three turnovers while shooting 50 percent from the field.
“I was proud of our guys the way we stuck together tonight,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We hadn’t done that in some games. Tonight you can just tell we were a group. When we got down we were a group and together the entire time so that was good to see.”
After Andrews gave UW an 84-82 lead with a three-pointer with 1:10 left, Johnson sank two free throws to knot the score at 84-84 with 36 seconds left. It was the 11th tie.
Romar called time out and drew up a play on the sideline for Andrews, who had a game-winner jumper against Colorado on Jan. 22. Coincidentally, it was the last time the Huskies had won a game.
Junior forward Jernard Jarreau, who returned to the starting lineup after a 10-game layoff due to a knee injury, set a screen for Williams-Goss at the top of the key that began chain of events that proved to be fatal for the Cougars.
Williams-Goss then dished to Andrews, who stood on the wing and launched a three-pointer over Ike Iroegbu.
“It was a contested 25-footer,” Lacy said. “It was just a really good shot. Ike couldn’t have contested it any better without fouling him. He did his job. It was just better O.”
Said Andrews: “I didn’t know it was going in. … I saw my teammates’ reactions and that’s when I knew it was good.”
Romar added: “That’s why I call him a daredevil. … He’s one of those guys who is a risk taker.”
The Cougars never got off a shot in the final seconds and the Huskies walked off the court winners for the first time in a month.
“I was tired of losing,” Andrews said.