Washington (9-4, 1-0) had chances to win at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime, but junior guard Bryce Alford dashed the Huskies' hopes with made three-pointers to force additional time. After the first made three, Washington's Dejounte 'Baby Boy' Murray had a chance to win it for the Dawgs at the death, but his rushed jumper hit off the front of the rim. At the end of the first overtime, senior guard Andrew Andrews tried to hit a high runner but he too could not find the net at the end.
“We were supposed to switch on that one," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said of Alford's made three at the end of the first overtime. "We didn’t. That’s what I was thinking. First time there were probably eight seconds when he went to take the shot and we feel that’s a little to early. When it gets down to six that’s when we’ll do it. The second time it was the switch. We had to switch to even foul."
But the Huskies kept at it and were able to use a key three and a breakaway dunk by Andrews to jump out to a five-point edge with 2:05 remaining in the second overtime.
"Any time the game gets close something in me makes me want to make some kind of play," Andrews said after the game. "It might be the wrong play but I just want to make a play. I noticed throughout the course of the game that (Isaac) Hamilton, whenever he drove he wasn’t looking to pass it; he was trying to get in the lane and shoot that floater. So I came across the lane and figured he wouldn’t see me. That was on the steal. On the three, the shot clock was going down. I had an open look a couple plays before and I shot it short so I knew I needed to make an adjustment for the next shot so I just let it go.”
Alford, who was 17-18 from the foul line on the night, made two free throws after the dunk, but Crisp put the dagger in with a three with 40 seconds to play.
Murray missed two free throws after a Tony Parker layin to give the Bruins life, but an Isaac Hamilton jumper went wanting and Matisse Thybulle came up with a big rebounds and a subsequent made foul shot to push Washington's advantage back up to three with seven seconds left.
“I wasn’t going to lose that game," Thybulle said afterward. "That was basically the whole thing going through my mind the whole time, ‘we’re not losing this.’ Just for being such a young team, as big a statement as it is for us to beat a team like UCLA, I was just like ‘there’s no way that I’m going to let this happen.’ So I did whatever I could and I think that’s the kind of mentality a lot of guys carried into overtime. Just doing whatever they could to make sure we got the win.”
Alford never got the chance to make it three made threes in a row, as Murray nearly tackled him with two seconds left.
"The third time we executed it the way we wanted to execute it, which was foul,” Romar confirmed.
After making the first shot from the line, he tried to intentionally miss the second for a quick put-back, but accidentally made the shot. The Huskies then got the ball to Andrews, who was immediately fouled.
Andrews, who was 17-19 from the stripe, cooly made his two shots, and Alford barely had a chance to get off a three-quarters length shot that came up short - giving Washington their final margin of victory.
"It was a gut-check win for us obviously," Romar said. "We’ve had more experienced teams that were NCAA tournament teams that have been in that situation, where you fight hard and the game goes into overtime and they hit a shot like (Brice) Alford hit, and mentally guys weren’t able to recover. Tonight we recovered twice in overtime. It speaks a lot for Andrew (Andrew’s) leadership out there and these guys playing older than their age tonight. There were so many heroes in this game. I was very, very happy to see us win it as a team, stay in it mentally, and now we have to move on to the next one.”
The last time Washington played a double overtime game they defeated the Long Beach State 49'ers, 92-89, back at the end of November in 2013. And Alaska Airlines Arena has been a bit of a house of horrors for the Bruins, who are now 4-14 overall against Washington in Hec Ed since 1998.
Washington was led by the 35 points of Andrew Andrews, while Malik Dime added 15, David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle 13, and Dejounte Murray 11.
UCLA (9-5, 0-1) was led by the 30 of Alford, while Thomas Welsh chipped in with a double-double - 19 points and 15 recounds - and Isaac Hamilton scored 15 and Tony Parker 11 for the Bruins.
With Marquese Chriss, Noah Dickerson and Malik Dime out due to foul accumulation by the time the second overtime came around, Romar admitted he took a good look at newcomer Sam Timmins, but joked with the press after the game that if he wasn't coming into this game he wasn't going to play this season.
That was possibly the only light moment for the Huskies, as they had to scrape and claw for all 50 minutes to eventually get the win.
“Our length is always good," Romar said about the Huskies having to cope with the loss of their three main big men. "Matisse Thybulle went in there and was at a height disadvantage but yet, because of his length, was able to get rebounds down the stretch; he was able to deflect passes. We were smaller but we were quicker when those guys were in there, so we were able to get in there and help each other out a lot.”
What might be more amazing is that the Huskies were able to even field any starters by the time the game ended. They were able to despite having 33 fouls called on them, with UCLA shooting 50 foul shots as a result. Washington also suffered from some poor shooting early in the game, throwing up shots at a 27 percent clip the first 20 minutes, including 2-9 from three-point range.
"I think the start of PAC-12 plays they’re starting to reinvent those calls that everyone was getting earlier on," Andrews said of the fouling. "We just have to make that adjustment. Toward the end of non-conference they were letting us play a little bit. Now that conference is back they’ve started calling hand checks and the two-hand automatic fouls. We’ve played with it before; we just have to adjust to it.”
The second half, the Bruins stuck to their defensive zone, but Washington was able to make some outside shots and get inside enough to keep UCLA honest.
"Dejounte (Murray) was sensational against the zone," Romar said. "He was either penetrating and scoring or he was passing. And then Andrew was hitting shots. David Crisp hit a few shots. Matisse Thybulle hit some big shots. That usually helps against any defense if you can make shots and we made more shots, but they were the right kind. Early on we took a few threes that, we just talked about the last few days, we don’t want to take. After that our guys settled down pretty good and I thought we took pretty good shots.”