Post-Season In Doubt After Loss

LAS VEGAS - Washington's chances at post-season basketball took a hammer blow Wednesday as they lost to the Utah Utes 67-61 in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand.

Utah's Dakarai Tucker hit a dagger three with 38 seconds left to give the Utes a 63-60 lead. Nigel Williams-Goss missed a straightaway three-pointer to tie the game.

"They were switching and the play didn't work out, what we wanted," senior guard C.J. Wilcox said. "We were going for a three or a two, it really didn't matter."

Brandon Taylor hit two free throws for Utah to seal the win after Washington's Desmond Simmons had to foul to extend the game.

Their NCAA Tournament chances hinged on winning four games in four days, but with the loss Wednesday Washington stands a very good chance of not getting invited to the post-season NIT Tournament. At this point, an invitation to the CBI may be the only opportunity the Huskies have of extending their 2013-14 campaign.

"We're going to show up Friday and Saturday and do some shooting, things like that, and anticipate a practice Sunday evening and wait and see what the (NIT) selection show says," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We weren't thinking about the NIT before today - we were talking about the NCAA Tournament. Right now we're focusing in on the NIT."

Freshman Darin Johnson scored 16 points for Washington (17-15, 9-9), while fellow freshman Williams-Goss had 15, C.J. Wilcox 14, and Simmons 10.

Junior Andrew Andrews, averaging nearly 13 points a game, scored Washington's first two points but did not score a basket the rest of the way. Despite a bout of food poisoning and an iv taken just 30 minutes prior to tipoff, Andrews played 24 minutes.

"Obviously Andrew is one of our top scorers, one of the guys that makes a lot of plays and plays with a lot of energy," said Williams-Goss, making his first trip home to Las Vegas since heading to school in July. "And when he's sick, like he was tonight, he didn't have that spark - and it's unfortunate that we couldn't rally around him and pull it out for him."

The game was truly was a tale of two halves for the Huskies. They went a stretch of over four minutes not scoring, shooting 27 percent overall for the half. They also gave up 13 second-chance points to the Utes as they were out-rebounded 23-14

But down only 10 at the intermission, Washington stormed back. Williams-Goss scored the first four points of the half and eventually UW was able to get back on top, 41-40, after a Johnson layup.

Johnson, who started his UW career with a 16-point effort in the first game of the season versus Seattle, had only one double-digit scoring game in Pac-12 play - 10 points at Arizona State. But with Andrew Andrews down for the count with food poisoning, it was up to the frosh to get it done. And he did.

"I had a lot of doubts this year - emotionally and mentally - and I let that get to me," Johnson said after the game. "I didn't really get to play my game the way I wanted to. It was a hard freshman year but I learned a lot and I'm ready to keep going, keep getting better."

Johnson's second-half contributions - as well as some much needed offensive production by Simmons - keep UW in touch. Simmons tied the game at 60 and had a chance to give the Huskies a lead with 67 seconds left but missed a free throw.
Points: Johnson 16, Williams-Goss 15, Wilcox 14, Simmons 10, Andrews 3, Kemp 2, Blackwell 1
Rebounds: Simmons 9, Williams-Goss 5, Blackwell 4, Wilcox 3, Anderson 2, TEAM 2, Andrews 1, Kemp 1, Johnson 1
Assists: Williams-Goss 3, Andrews 1, Wilcox 1
Steals: Williams-Goss 3, Simmons 1, Blackwell 1, Anderson 1
Blocks: Williams-Goss 1, Wilcox 1, Anderson 1

Post-Game Video Interviews
Lorenzo Romar, C.J. Wilcox and Darin Johnson Post-Game Quotes
More Lorenzo Romar Quotes
More C.J. Wilcox Quotes
More Darin Johnson Quotes
Nigel Williams-Goss Quotes
Andrew Andrews Quotes

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