"It is always good," California Head Coach Cuonzo Martin said of the win, California's first Pac-12 road win of the season. "You always want to get better later. That’s what we have been doing. We have been playing better basketball later and that is always a good sign. We have to continue to grow and get better, make free throws, do the little things, be consistent, not have 16 turnovers. It is a part of it."
“Very disappointing loss," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. post-game. "I think that goes without saying. I thought we did a lot of things tonight that would allow you to win a ball game. I thought we did a better job guarding. They beat us on the backboard but I thought we did a better job on the backboard. We miss a lot of easy shots. We couldn’t get that ball to go in the basket. We can talk about frère throws, but they didn’t do a very good job at the foul line either. That was kind of a wash. We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Some of that had to do with their size. They’re big around the rim. There were also a lot of them that we had that if we had them again those shots would go down.”
Washington, down by as many as 10 in the second half, cut the lead to 2 after Andrews made a three - their first made three of the half - with 25.7 seconds to play. They immediately fouled Brown, who made both his free throws. A deep three attempt by Donaven Dorsey airballed.
Tyrone Wallace was fouled with 14.3 seconds left and missed both shots. The Huskies hurried the ball up the court, and Andrews buried his second three from deep in the corner next to the UW bench. Washington fouled Wallace again, this time with 4.1 seconds left and down 1. He made one, but missed the second. In the scramble, Cal's Jabari Bird fouled Matisse Thybulle with 3.3 seconds left.
Thybulle, who was 6-6 before the first shot, had his free throw barely trickle out to the cylinder as the Alaska Airlines Arena crowd gasped.
"I have been in these situations before down the stretch," Martin said, adding that he was 'very' relieved when Thybulle's foul shot rimmed out. "It is a good thing to come out on the winning side but you know games are never over, especially when you have a guy like Andrew Andrews and so many talented freshman. These types of games are never over until the buzzer sounds."
Thybulle missed the second shot intentionally, and in the scramble David Crisp was adjuged to have fouled Wallace. He made one shot, making it a three-point game.
Andrews' three-quarter heave-ho hit the side of the backboard, and the Golden Bears took home the win while the Huskies continue to search for that missing piece that will get them over the hump in close games. They seem to have figured out that part early in the season; they won five straight in Pac-12 play when the score was within five points, but have now dropped three-straight in that department.
After Brown's 23, California (18-8, 8-5) benefited from 18 points apiece from bench players Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Mathews. Overall, the Golden Bears' bench outscored UW's 38-12.
"You’re bringing in two guys that are all league potential though; you’re talking about Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Mathews," Romar said. "I don’t think we can really gauge that. Those guys did come off the bench and you’re talking about some high level veterans coming off the bench. That’s pretty good for them that they have the luxury to be able to do that.”
Washington (15-11, 7-7) was led by the 18 points of Andrews. Marquese Chriss added 17 and Dejounte Murray 14.
Romar changed the lineup to start the game - Malik Dime came in to replace Noah Dickerson. It's the first time the lineup had changed all year long. That's 25-straight games. Dime started out hot, scoring UW's first six points. He also three shots as the Huskies set an all-time single season record for blocks with 186. That's also good enough for fifth all-time in Pac-12 single season history.
“We had come up short in a few games and we decided to mix some things up," Romar said of the switch. "Malik (Dime) always gives us a lot of energy and he’s number two in the league in blocked shots, one of the best shot blockers in the country. We decided to go with him in the beginning and I thought he started out really well. I thought he played really good until he picked up a couple of fouls. He had to sit down.”
Regardless of the shakeup, the Huskies were plagued with poor shooting all night long. They shot 32.9 percent (23-70), and 23.5 percent from three (4-17). And it didn't seem to matter if the shots were taken inside the paint or open jump shots - they didn't fall.
On top of that, Washington shot 65.8 percent - over six percent lower than their season average - from the foul line, but 19-24 in the second half. Murray was the biggest culprit, making only 4-10 from the stripe for the game.
“Honestly though, tonight’s game we did a lot that we were supposed to do and we left 12-plus free throws on the board," said Murray. "You give us at least four or five of those, I mean, that gives us the win. Those are the little things. Making free throws hurt us tonight. We got out rebounded, but, like I said, we missed a bunch of free throws and we usually make free throws.”
With a quick turnaround - the Huskies play Stanford Saturday at 5 pm - the young pups need to dial back up the formula that helped them to five-straight close Pac-12 wins to start the season. In their current four-game skid, three of them have been games decided by five points or less.
“I think we just have to finish the game out," said Chriss. "We fight hard and then there’s times where we might take a break or something or we relax. And I think some teams capitalize. I think we have to play a full game.”
“We’re going to have the same message the next game we play," Romar added. "We’re doing a lot of things that can help you win, but we go through these periods. I thought tonight we put together a better effort to come up with a victory; there are just little things. We’re going to make mistakes. I thought there were a couple of times we made mistakes. A couple of times we gave up penetration. But we turned the ball over seven times; we hold them to 39 percent from the field; we did some good things. Tonight we couldn’t make shots. Of all games when we start to do some things right, tonight was the night we couldn’t put the ball in the basket."