Washington's reserves outscored UCLA's backup 27-10 thanks in part to David Crisp who had 11 points and Dominic Green who tallied a career-high 10.
It was a game that included a little bit of everything.
The Huskies played brilliantly in the first half while building a 19-point lead. They led 51-33 in the first half, but gave the lead away in the lead away and was outscored 51-35 in the second half.
In the end, Washington did just enough to pull out an 86-84 upset victory over UCLA, which had been a 6.0-point favorite at Pauley Pavilion.
The Huskies improved to 14-6 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 to remain in a first-place tie with Oregon.
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Here’s three takeaways after the game.
WHAT’S GOING ON AT HALFTIME? — For the fifth straight game, Washington played well in the first half – especially on the defensive end – and fell apart in the second half. It happened at Arizona, which scored 44 in the first half and 55 in the second. It also happened against Arizona State (34 in first and 51 in second), Colorado (33 and 50), Utah (26 and 40) and against tonight. UCLA had 33 points at halftime and scored 51 in the second half. Whatever the Huskies are doing at halftime, they need to change. Last week, Romar said he thought players were getting too many minutes in the first half. It’s a credit to Washington that it’s able to come out and play so well early in games. But the Huskies also know they’re living dangerously when they allow teams back into games. So far they’re 6-2 in games decided by 5 points or less. But good teams turn 15-point leads in the second half to 25-point leads and the starters relax easy on the bench while backups cleanup in mop up duty.
UW’S BENCH IS BECOMING A WEAPON — Coach Lorenzo Romar’s faith in Dominic Green is starting to pay off. It took the freshman some time to find his confidence on the offensive end. But Green was never better than he was Thursday. He doesn’t pass up nearly as many open shots as he did two weeks ago when he became a fixture in what is now an 8-man rotation. Against UCLA, Green searched for his shot. He’s not just a knock-down shooter. He dribbled to good spots on the floor and got the shot he wanted. Green also made 2 of 5 three-pointers. Green wasn’t the only reserve to have a big night. Sophomore Donaven Dorsey can use Thursday’s game as springboard to something better if he keeps at it. Dorsey got minutes due to three players fouling out, but he took advantage of the opportunity and canned a three-pointer in the corner that tied the game at 82-82 with 1:20 left. It was probably Dorsey’s biggest shot in his UW career. Backup forward Malik Dime finished with a team-high 10 rebounds and two blocks before fouling out and backup guard David Crisp added 11 points, including two three-pointers. Washington’s bench outscored UCLA 27-10.
ANDREWS IS CLUTCH — When you think of clutch Washington players, Isaiah Thomas and Brandon Roy come to mind. But add Andrew Andrews to the list. He’s money in the final minutes. He did it again tonight. With the game on the line, Andrews tends to come up big. He collected a critical defensive rebound. Then he charged to the rim and appeared to get bailed out by the officials who called a foul Jonah Bolden. Andrews hit two free throws to give UW an 84-82 lead with 43 seconds left. After Bryce Alford tied it at 84, Andrews took over again. The Huskies cleared out for him and he was at the top of the key isolated on senior forward Tony Parker with the clock winding down. Andrews drew a foul and made the game-winning free throws. That’s no easy feat. And yet, he’s been doing it all season.