The loss likely brings an end to Washington’s NCAA tournament hopes. It’s likely the team will be selected to play in the NIT after the 69-66 loss to the Beavers
LAS VEGAS — David Crisp sat motionless on a chair in front of his locker as the Huskies dressed in silence and filed out of T-Mobile Arena.
Still dressed in his white jersey, the Washington junior guard stared intensely at the carpeted floor as teammates walked by while patting him on the shoulder or sharing words of consolation.
“He’s taking this hard, but we all are,” said freshman guard Jaylen Nowell following a 69-66 overtime defeat to Oregon State in Wednesday night’s Pac-12 tournament opener. “But David didn’t do anything wrong. Not at all. We just lost this game.”
With their NCAA tournament hopes hanging in the balance, the seventh-seeded Huskies had several chances in overtime to win their rubber match against the No. 10 Beavers.
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However, UW didn’t have many offensive options in the extra period considering Nowell and Noah Dickerson — their leading scorers — had fouled out in the final two minutes.
“It definitely makes things harder,” said junior guard Matisse Thybulle, who led UW with 16 points. “It puts more pressure on guys like me, David, (Dominic Green) and (Nahziah Carter) because those are two of the better scorers in our conference.
“Without them in the game it definitely takes away options, but guys stepped up.”
Thybulle drained a three-pointer that put Washington up 64-63 with 1:49 left and momentarily swung the momentum toward the Huskies.
“It definitely gave us a surge of energy,” said Thybulle, who also hit a big three-pointer at the end of regulation. “You could see it in that next possession with how hard we played defensively and we were determined to stop them, but the refs called some fouls that are really out of our control.”
Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson Jr. drew a foul on Hameir Wright and sank 1 of 2 free throws to tie the score at 64.
After Crisp missed a layup that rolled off of the rim, Wright fouled Tres Tinkle (12 points and 10 rebounds) beneath the glass on a play in which UW coaches believed the contact was initiated by the OSU player.
“I don’t know,” coach Mike Hopkins said during the postgame news conference when asked if he thought there was a foul on the play. “It’s a tough game to referee. It’s a fast game. It’s a physical game.”
Tinkle made two free throws that put UW behind 66-64 with 21.5 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Crisp threw the ball over Green’s head for a costly turnover.
“Just miscommunication,” Crisp said. “I thought Dom was going to pop and be in a certain spot, but I held it a step too long and he dragged instead of what I thought he was doing. Just bad execution, and that’s on me.”
The Huskies sent Drew Eubanks (19 points) to the line and he made 1 of 2 free throws with 10 seconds left to give Oregon a 67-64 lead.
Crisp quickly rushed the ball down court for a layup with 3.1 seconds remaining.
“I told David to try to get a quick two and he went all the way,” Hopkins said. “It was an aggressive play. We felt like we could get into our defense.”
Another UW foul sent Tinkle back to the line and he canned both free throws to push the Beavers up three once again.
Oregon State sank 20 of 32 foul shots while UW was 14 of 18 at the line.
Finally, the Huskies’ hopes ended when Crisp’s last-gasp three-pointer just inside halfcourt rattled off the rim as time expired.
It was the fifth straight Pac-12 tournament loss for the Huskies and another agonizing defeat to the Beavers, who defeated them 97-94 in double overtime on Feb. 10.
“This hurts,” said Crisp, who finished with 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting and three assists in 41 minutes. “There’s no other way to describe it. We had chances. We knew what we had to do, and we didn’t get it done. Simple as that.”
The Huskies (20-12) needed an extended stay in Sin City, and their early exit almost certainly eliminates their NCAA tournament dreams and drops them into the National Invitation Tournament.
Washington looked as if it would snap a seven-year Big Dance drought in February when it was 17-6 following wins over ranked Arizona and Arizona State teams.
The Huskies are 3-6 in their last nine games.
“We’ll most likely end up in the NIT,” Thybulle said. “And we’ll fight through that to see how far we can go.”
It’s not the finish the Huskies were hoping for.
“We know we’re a good team and we know how close we came to being where we want to be,” Crisp said. “This one is going to hurt for a long time. I’m going to remember this.”