The PAC-12 Tournament’s first-round contest between the Colorado Buffaloes (21-7, 9-7 PAC) and the Washington Huskies (7-16, 2-12 PAC) was a rematch of last year’s UW tournament win, 68-54, over the Buffaloes.
To start the game, Washington and Colorado shot a combined 0-for-12 from the field overall.
In the first quarter, Washington shot just 20% (3 for 15) from the field overall.
The Huskies opened the second quarter with a Nancy Mulkey jumper to cut Colorado’s lead to 12-10.
However, the Dawgs went scoreless for the next 3 minutes and 46 seconds, as they fell further behind 17-10.
In the third quarter, Washington finally made a move — outscoring the Buffaloes 22-19, including an 8-0 scoring run — to briefly take their first lead of the game at 33-31.
At the end of the third period, however, Washington still trailed 40-39.
The Huskies experienced their usual fourth quarter struggles, as Washington scored only 1 point in the final 3 minutes and 45 seconds of the game; meanwhile, Colorado’s 24-point surge eliminated the No. 12-seeded Huskies, 52-64.
Washington was led by Nancy Mulkey and Lauren Schwartz with 11 points each.
4th Quarter Scoring Drought Redux
Colorado stepped up, and heated up, in the fourth quarter, scoring 24 points on 50% shooting overall; as well as, 60% three-point shooting.
The Washington Huskies shot 35.7% (5 for 14) from the field overall in the final period with five turnovers and zero assists.
Ultimately, execution in the fourth quarter is a reflection of the coaching that players receive.
The Colorado Buffaloes pounded the offensive boards at the Huskies’ expense.
Colorado grabbed 22 offensive rebounds, which surpassed Washington’s defensive rebounds total of 21.
Frankly, it is unheard of for any good team to allow their opponent’s offensive rebounds to surpass their own defensive rebounds.
Diving deeper, Washington allowed Colorado to grab:
seven (7) offensive rebounds in the paint;
seven (7) rebounds after three-pointers above the arc; and
five (5) offensive rebounds after mid-range/two-point shots.
Too Many Turnovers
The Huskies committed 13 turnovers – three less than their PAC-12 average of 16.6 turnovers per game– but that small “improvement” had negligible impact on winning the game.
Colorado scored 13 points off of the Huskies’ 13 turnovers — a 1-to-1 ratio that objectively looks like a game-winning statistic.
The season is over but our coverage won’t stop, because we anticipate some big off-season changes in the program.