INSTA-RECAP: UW hits a buzzer-beater 3 to beat Cal, 77-75
Missed free throws leave the door open for the late game heroics
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with Cal holding onto a small lead for most of the half. UW started 0-for-10 from deep, but finally started connecting late in the half, including a momentum-swinging corner trey from Anthony Holland right before halftime to give UW a 40-35 lead going into the break.
The momentum and shooting carried into the second half, as UW started off with an 8-2 run to take a 48-37 lead and forcing Coach Madsen to call a timeout. Cal would go on a mini-run to close to 52-50, forcing Mike Hopkins to call a timeout at 13:49 left in the game. During the run, the Huskies defense forgot that Fardaws Aimaq was on the court. He was left all alone down low, and has 2 uncontested dunks on back to back possessions.
UW scored seven straight points to regain the momentum and the 59-52 lead. Grant Newell and Fardaws Aimaq both added a couple baskets over the next couple minutes, as Cal tied the game back up at 62-62 with 7:00 left.
Both teams would miss their next couple shots. Keonte Kennedy connected on a 3-pointer from the wing to give Cal the 65-62 lead at the 5:24 mark, prompting Coach Hopkins to call another timeout. The teams traded buckets, and Aimaq has 5 points in a short spurt, as Cal led 70-67 with 3 minutes to go.
Jaylon Tyson hit a 3, and UW’s Anthony Holland answered with a layup. Cal led 73-69 at the 2-minute timeout.
UW would miss their next five shot attempts but Cal could not extend the lead. Jaylon Tyson missed the first half of a 1-and-1 with :43 left. UW got to the free-throw line at :33 and closed the gap to 73-71.
Jalen Cone was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and made both free throws, to extend Cal’s lead to 75-71. UW’s Anthony Holland would connect on a corner 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 1 point, 75-74. Fardaws Aimaq missed the first free throw, and UW got the rebound, down 75-74 with 20 seconds to go.
Keion Brooks’ layup attempt with 4 seconds to go was blocked out of bounds by Aimaq. On the inbounds, UW’s Moses Wood connected on a highly contested corner 3-pointer for the walkoff 77-75 win.
In the postgame comments, Coach Madsen pinned the loss on only shooting 13-of-22 from the free throw line for the game. In the second half, Cal was only 5-of-9 from the free throw line.
Fardaws Aimaq led Cal with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Jalen Cone and Jaylon Tyson added 17 points each. UW’s Keion Brooks finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds.
Fardaws Aimaq was dominating in the second half. He had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the last 20 minutes.Jalen Cone scored 12 of his 17 points after intermission.
Keion Brooks and Jaylon Tyson are the top scorers in the Pac-12. Their statistical lines across all categories are very similar, with Tyson having the slight edge in most categories. Tonight, both of them looked the part of alpha-dogs, with the Huskie having the slightly better line tonight.
Cal’s last 3 home games have featured a loss to ASU after leading by 16 points, a victory over Colorado after falling behind by 20 points, and tonight’s last second loss to UW. Cal entered the game ranked #356 out of 362 on the kenpom luck ranking. This game may drop them lower.
Haas Pavilion continues to come alive. The crowd of 2,913 was loud and active the entire game. Coach Madsen praised the turnout, and said that tonight had the most students in attendance for any game this season.
On a personal note, the outcome tonight is more absurd than disappointing. It was a tight game all the way. While Cal shot better and had fewer turnovers, UW had more rebounds and was able to convert them into 26 second-chance points. Keion Brooks was the best player on the court tonight. Jalen Cone’s and Coach Madsen’s postgame comments and demeanor were consistent with a sense of frustration and not dejection. They both gave plenty of credit to UW’s Moses Wood for hitting the last-second difficult shot, and both pointed to parts of the game earlier that would’ve left no opportunity for UW to get the win on a last-second shot. The ASU loss is still the one that stings. After the ASU loss, Jalen Cone and Keonte Kennedy were both dejected and Madsen’s usual glass-half-full attitude was severely challenged.
Cal hosts the Washington State Cougars this Saturday at 2 p.m.