The Huskies had a chance to tie at the end of the game, but a Mike Williams three-point shot went awry.
“Coach (Romar) wanted me to push it; if we could get the quick two we were going to take that," Williams-Goss said post-game. "Shawn (Kemp) was going to come back and set a high ball screen and Mike was going to trail the play so that if I got downhill and didn’t have anything I could throw it back to Mike. But because he was trailing his man was able to be a helper. I didn’t really have anywhere to go, and it caused us to scramble a little bit.”
Washington scrambled quite a bit after taking a 9-2 lead to start the game. But after UW's Quevyn Winters hit a three to put them up 16-10 with 12:53 remaining to half, the Cougars went nuts from behind the line, making five bombs, including one of three from Brett Boese that tied the game at 22 with 8:32 left before halftime.
“We didn’t do a good enough job stopping the ball early," Williams-Goss said. “We’re not guarding like we did at the beginning of the season. There’s more breakdowns now, and that’s on us.”
Despite giving up seven three-pointers the first half and shooting only 20 percent from deep themselves, Washington found themselves tied with WSU at half. That's when Lacy, who had scored only five points the first 20 minutes, went to work - scoring six of the Cougars' first 15 points of the second half to give them a 52-47 lead heading into the first media time out. Lacy then hit four more coming out of the break to get Washington State to their biggest lead of the night, 54-47.
The Huskies kept trying to claw their way way in the game through Williams-Goss, who scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half. His steal and layup with 6:08 remaining got UW to within two, and another layin - this time from Andrew Andrews after an Anderson steal - tied the game at 67 with 4:31 left.
"We did a great job coming back, did a great job of having the ball in possession where we could have gone up one, but we didn’t," Romar said. "I just feel like we put ourselves in that position. That game didn’t come down to the last two minutes for me. The other 33 minutes…after the first five or six minutes, that’s where the game was won or lost."
Hawkinson's drive and-1 with under a minute left gave WSU a four-point lead but Anderson responded with a three from deep near the UW bench. Lacy kept his cool, making his free throws, but the Huskies still had a chance to tie with their final possession.
But post-game, Romar was not in the mood to discuss excuses or talk about how close his team came to taking the game to overtime.
“We come out and we shoot 60, 70 percent in the first six minutes," he said when asked about any patterns that have emerged out of Washington's current four-game slide. "We guard, we get a lead - and then we fade. That’s been the pattern in terms of what has happened. You can name a bunch of reasons - one night it’s one reason, another night it’s a different one - it means we’re not doing a good enough job. No excuses.
“I don’t have a whole lot to say because right now it’s not about looking at any individual. What about this guy, what about that guy…it’s all on me. As the head coach, I have to make sure that we get this turned around. And slippage that’s gone on here, put that on me. We’ll work very hard to come back next time we play and have some things turned around.
“Tweaks in the lineup…I don’t know. I don’t know anything other than it’s my fault. I have to make sure that this team is more ready to play for 40 minutes. Not for 7, 15, or 20 - but for 40 minutes. It’s on me.”
Jarreau hurt?: Jernard Jarreau went limping into the locker room with 2:17 left in the game, but when asked after the game Romar wasn't sure what the problem is with the junior from New Orleans.
WSU-UW Box Score:
Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews