Here’s our postgame recap box after Washington’s 72-59 loss to California today.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — California guard Tyrone Wallace scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had four assists, a blocked shot, a steal and only one turnover in 34 minutes. That’s a full stat line. Senior forward Richard Solomon added 18 points and seven rebounds, and made 8 of his 11 field-goal attempts.
IT WAS OVER WHEN — Cal’s end-of-half run was pretty demoralizing, but the Huskies did cut a 13-point deficit to five midway through the second half. But when Ricky Kreklow extended the lead to nine points with a deep 3-pointer with 5:59 to play, this game felt like it was over.
STAT OF THE GAME — California scored 19 points in the final 6:21 of the first half. The Huskies scored two points in that span.
QUOTABLE — “Individually, mentally, we’ve got to make sure we decide that mentally, don’t worry about anyone else. Each to a man can maintain that mental focus throughout the game, especially now that we’re going on the road.”—UW coach Lorenzo Romar
WHAT IT MEANS — If even a shred of hope existed that UW could put together a big winning streak to make its case for NCAA tournament inclusion, it is almost certainly gone now. As Romar eluded to afterward, this game was an illustration of the Huskies’ inability to re-focus when things start to go wrong. They haven’t been strong enough, mentally, to snap out of stretches of poor play … on the road. That they couldn’t do it at home, either, has to be particularly disheartening.
NEXT UP — Washington at Oregon, 6 p.m., Wednesday, ESPN2