Huskies Comeback Falls Short In 61-58 Heartbreaking Overtime Loss To Bears

The Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball team was looking to leave their Bay Area road trip with a split at Haas Pavilion, against the California Bears.

At the beginning of the first half, the Huskies came out aggressive and tried to dump the ball inside to true freshman forward Isaiah Stewart.

Offensively, the Huskies started out 1 for 5 from the field, but somehow found themselves with an early 6-2 lead over the Bears.

California would fight back with a 5-0 run of their own and take a 7-6 lead, at the 14:39 mark in the first half, and the momentum.

The 5-0 run turned into a 9-0 run, as Cal took an 11-6 lead over a 2:47 stretch, leaving the Huskies needing to answer.

With the Huskies going 1 for 8 from the field at the time, they were looking for a spark by anyone that entered the game.

True freshman RaeQuan Battle came in and made a three-pointer to cut the Bears lead to 13-12, giving the Huskies some confidence.

At the 10:34 mark, the Bears were leading the Huskies 15-12, with the Huskies needing to go on a big run before the half.

Over the course of the next 5 minutes, the Huskies struggled to put the ball in the basket, as they were 5 for 20 from the field.

The leading scorer for the Huskies was Stewart with 3 points and to put things in perspective, he was struggling for a second consecutive game.

California led the Huskies 10-2 in interior paint points, where the Huskies usually have their way, with Stewart dominating.

At halftime, Washington was behind 28-20 after struggling to put the ball in the basket all half long and getting stops defensively.

It was clearly evident that the Huskies were trying to find themselves offensively in a post-Quade Green era, at this point of the season.

Isaiah Stewart led the way with 4 points and 2 rebounds for the Huskies, as nobody could quite get it going for the Huskies.

Surely Washington head coach Mike Hopkins wasn’t happy with the effort and the execution during the first half.  I’m sure he was firing up his troops in the locker room at halftime.

At the start of the second half, the Huskies tried to get off to a fast start and cut into the 8-point deficit, but it was quite the opposite.

The Bears came out on fire and saw themselves push the lead out to 35-27 at the 15:55 mark, as the Huskies continued to struggle.

Cal on the other hand, figured out the Huskies 2-3 zone and were getting efficient looks, and scored the basketball with ease.

They built up a double digit lead, leaving the Huskies no with answer for their offensive struggles, as nobody stepped up to score.

True freshman Jaden McDaniels hit a three-pointer to cut the Bears lead to 41-34, with 11:27 left in the game.

Defensively, the Huskies switched up to a man-to-man defense to give Cal a different look, with the hopes of creating some energy.

The Huskies held Cal scoreless for a 5-minute plus stretch, where they were able to get back into the game on the scoreboard.

On offense, the Huskies went on a 10-2 run, cutting the Bears lead to 43-41, with 6:39 left in the game and a chance to take the lead.

With 4-minutes left, McDaniels rolled his ankle during a put back bucket, where Hopkins had to get him out of the game due to a noticeable limp.

Down the stretch, the Huskies clawed their way to a 49-49 tie in regulation when junior forward Nahziah Carter missed a three-pointer to win the game.

With the game headed to overtime, the Huskies needed to find a way to finish the deal down the stretch and come away with a win!

In overtime, the Huskies switched back and forth between man-to-man and zone defense to confuse the Bears and get turnovers.

Both teams traded baskets and the Bears had the lead 58-56, with 44 seconds left in overtime and the game being up for grabs.

It would be heartache again in Berkeley for a second straight season for the Huskies, as the Bears hit a bank shot three-pointer to win the game.

When the final horn sounded, the Huskies lost the game 61-58, as their Pac-12 Conference record fell to 1-3, after going winless on the road trip.

The Huskies were led by Isaiah Stewart, who had 13 points and 6 rebounds.  McDaniels chipped in 12 points and 11 assists and Jamal Bey finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

California was led by sophomore guard Matt Bradley, who finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds on the night.

The Huskies took a major hit to their NCAA postseason hopes and will have to change things around quickly, as they have lost 4 out of their last 5 games.

Next up for the Huskies (11-6, 1-3) is a home game on Thursday, January 16th at 8:00 p.m. PT, against the Oregon State Beavers at Alaska Airlines Arena.




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