Washington Handed First-Round Exit By Utah
(1090 The Fan) — The Washington Huskies opened the Pac-12 tournament with aspirations of winning four games in four days to grab an NCAA tournament bid. In the end, it could not get through one game.
The Huskies fell to Utah 67-61, Wednesday, potentially ending the team’s 2013-14 campaign on a rather bitter note.
Delon Wright who led Utah with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Dakarai Tucker drilled a critical 3-pointer down the stretch to give Utah a 63-60 lead with about 35 seconds left. Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar called timeout to set up an offensive play but the Huskies were unable to convert and subsequent free throws by Brandon Taylor sealed the win.
Reserve guard Darin Johnson led Washington with 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting off the bench, providing key minutes when C.J. Wilcox sat with early foul trouble. Freshman point guard Nigel Williams-Goss finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Washington briefly gained the lead 59-58 when Desmond Simmons finished a 3-point play at 1:25. The teams then exchanged free throws on the following possessions, creating a 60-60 tie with under a minute to play.
That’s when the ball found Tucker in the corner for three and he didn’t miss.
Missing was the problem for the Huskies in the first half. The team shot just 27 percent in the first half and was out-rebounded 23-14 by Utah as they fell behind 34-24 at the half. So they weren’t getting many second chance opportunities despite the misses.
Washington did its best to recover in the second half, as mentioned the team did gain the lead, but it just could never get the stops it needed to, ultimately.
Wilcox, who may have played his final game as a Husky, finished with 14 points and a key missed 3-pointer late.
The Huskies will wait to learn their fate regarding a possible NIT — or a smaller postseason tournament — invite in the coming days.
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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