These are desperate times for Washington, which started the season 11-0 but is now 11th in the Pac-12 standings.
The Huskies (14-8, 3-7) need all the help they can get, and the more Darin Johnson produces off the bench, the better their chances of resurrecting postseason aspirations.
He’s tallied 10, eight and 11 points respectively in the past three games, which is a significant increase from his 5.9 scoring average. Perhaps more importantly, he regained confidence.
SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Here’s a Washington-Oregon State scouting report and a few links courtesy of the Oregonian.
— Ernie Kent returns to Oregon for the first time since he was fired four years ago. The Washington State coach spent 13 years with the Ducks.
— Bo Barnes scored 18 points, including a key 3-pointer late, and Arizona State pulled off a second straight home upset over rival Arizona by holding off the sixth-ranked Wildcats for a 81-78 win at Wells Fargo Arena. Freshman Tra Holder gave the Sun Devils (12-11, 4-6) a lift early, attacking the Wildcats on his way to 15 points and eight assists. Savon Goodman muscled his way past Arizona’s defenders, scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds.
— Arizona (20-3, 8-2) was inconsistent offensively and had too many breakdowns on defense after routing Arizona State in Tucson a month ago. T.J. McConnell had 25 points and Stanley Johnson added 16 for the Wildcats, who had to fight their way through Arizona State’s onrushing crowd for the second straight season.
— Brandon Taylor scored 18 points on a career-best six three-pointers and No. 13 Utah routed cold-shooting Colorado 79-51 for the Utes first win at Coors Events Center since both teams joined the Pac-12 in 2012. Up by 12 at the break, Utah opened the second half with three consecutive three-pointers to move ahead 44-23. Jordan Loveridge added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Utah (18-4, 8-2 Pac-12), which has put together back-to-back wins since losing last week at UCLA.
— Josh Scott, who missed eight of the past nine games with a back injury, had 10 points for Colorado (11-11, 4-6) in his return. But the Buffaloes missed leading scorer Askia Booker, who was sidelined by a hip pointer. In addition to missing Booker, sophomore Wesley Gordon was out of the starting lineup because he was late to a shoot-around. Junior Xavier Johnson didn’t start either, because he’s been slow to return from his ankle injury. Colorado shot just 29.8 percent from the field, converting only one of their nine three-point attempts. Utah converted 57.8 percent of its shots from the field, including a season-high 13 3-pointers.
— Call them the Kardiac Bears. Or Lucky Bears. Both nicknames apply to California, which has pulled off late-game heroics and game-winning shots in the final seconds of its past three games. It all started at Washington when Sam Singer popped a three-pointer to beat the Huskies last week. Then Tyrone Washington did the same thing against USC. On Saturday, Dwight Tarwarter become the latest California player to deliver in the clutch. The fifth-year senior responded with what he called “the shot of my life.” He made a three-pointer with 18.9 seconds and the Golden Bears hung on to beat UCLA 64-62 at Haas Pavilion. Jabari Bird scored 16 points for Cal (15-9, 5-6 Pac-12), which has a four-game winning streak. Singer added 13 points off the bench while Wallace had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
— UCLA’s postseason hopes took a serious blow Saturday. The Bruins led 62-58 with 1:30 remaining and were seemingly on their way to their fourth straight win and sole possession of third place in the Pac-12. However, disaster struck the Bruins at the end. They were outscored 6-0 in final 90 seconds. Until their late comeback, the Bears couldn’t stop UCLA’s inside game. Tony Parker scored 20 points for the Bruins, two shy of his career-high, while Kevon Looney had 10 points and 11 rebounds. After Tarwarter’s shot, UCLA (14-10, 6-5) had a final chance to win but Bryce Alford’s deep 3-pointer hit the back of the rim.
— And here’s a look at the conference schedule.
Pac-12 Conference Standings
|TEAM||CONF W-L||TOTAL W-L|
|No. 6 Arizona||8-2||20-3|
|No. 13 Utah||8-2||18-4|