On Saturday, the previously unbeaten Washington Huskies (5 -1) lost to the Santa Clara Broncos (5-3) in Las Vegas and it was never really close.
For the game, the Huskies shot 28.0% from three-point range (7 for 25).
Even worse, the Huskies only managed to make 39.5% of their two-point shots.
Significantly, the Broncos forced 13 UW turnovers, resulting in 15 points off turnovers.
And despite Washington being the stronger rebounding team, on paper, entering the game — the smaller Broncos held their own on the boards, matching the Dawgs 40 rebounds with 40 of their own.
The only shooting area where UW was efficient was at the rim (within 4.5 feet) — shooting 85.7%.
The Broncos seized control of the game in the first quarter.
,After Jayda Noble hit a three-pointer to start the game for the Dawgs, the Broncos went on a 11 – 0 run as the Huskies did not score a basket for approximately 3 1/2 minutes.
In the first period, Santa Clara shot 66.7% overall (8 for 12), while Washington shot 31.6% overall (6 for 19).
In the second period, Santa Clara shot 40% overall, 40% from three-point range and 100% from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, the Huskies shot 37.5% overall (6 for 16) — although they did improve to 50% on three-pointers (3 for 6).
At the end of the second period, Santa Clara led the Huskies, 43 – 31.
In the first half, UW shot 34% from the field overall and Santa Clara shot 50.0%.
The third period was the only quarter where Washington outscored Santa Clara, 13 -11, despite shooting only 37.5% overall and 20% from three-point range.
At the end of the third period, UW trailed 44-54.
In the final period, Santa Clara outscored Washington 17-14.
The Dawgs continued to struggle from the field, shooting only 33.3% (4 for 12) overall and 25% (2 for 8) on three-pointers.
Three-Point Defense Problem
Santa Clara came into the game ranked in the Top 1% nationwide of three-pointers made per game.
As we discussed in our game preview of this matchup:
Santa Clara presents more of a deep shooting threat to a Huskies defense that struggles with defending the three-point line.
UW’s defense allows 34.2% three-point shooting which ranks in the Bottom 18% nationwide; as well as, allowing 40.2% shooting on corner threes which also ranks in the Bottom 18% nationwide.
Expect the Huskies defense to be hurt by Santa Clara’s corner threes if there is no defensive adjustment by the Huskies coaching staff.
The UW defense did not respond to the challenge of defending the three-point line.
Santa Clara made eight (8) three-pointers against the Huskies, which accounted for 34% of their points — and arguably the difference in the game.
Offensive Confusion Perhaps it was Washington’s 13 turnovers; or the fact that Dalayah Daniels (0 points in eight minutes), Haley Van Dyke (3 points in 35 minutes) and Lauren Schwartz (5 points in 22 minutes) combined for 8 points on a total of 16 shots; or that the Huskies scored less points in-the-paint (22 points) than the much shorter Broncos team (26 points) –the Huskies offense seemed confused, unfocused and not on the same page.
The Huskies look to get back on track when they return home to Hec Ed on Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00 PM PT vs Seattle University.