Washington dominates glass en route to romp

Michael Tao/File

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Heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Cal men’s basketball team, Washington ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in rebounding — eight slots behind its opponents.

Yet the Bears made them look like one of the best rebounding teams in in the country, surrendering 20 offensive boards en route to a 62-47 loss at Haas Pavilion, the team’s sixth loss in its last eight games.

“I don’t have any explanation, we just didn’t play hard,” guard Allen Crabbe said. “There’s really nothing else to say.”

Cal (9-6, 1-2 in the Pac-12) continued to struggle with finishing off defensive possessions, as Washington exposed the Bears inside all game long, relying on second chance points to maintain their lead. No matter which lineup Cal put on the court, the Huskies (10-5, 2-0) crashed every board and tallied 14 offensive rebounds in the first half alone, heading into the break with a 30-14 rebounding advantage.

“We just need to play with more energy,” Crabbe said. “It’s embarrassing to lose like that on your own floor.”

After forward Richard Solomon made a free throw to knot the game up at 18 apiece, the Huskies rattled off 16 straight unanswered points to blow the game open — fueled by Cal turnovers and second chance points. Forward Robert Thurman finally found senior Bak Bak underneath on the block, who converted a layup and stopped the bleeding.

The Huskies put up 18 more shots than Cal did in the first half, paving the way for a 34-20 advantage at halftime despite going 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. Center Aziz N’Diaye led his team with 10 points and six boards, as the Bears had no answer for the 7-foot senior down low.

“I thought that Aziz was the catalyst for the night,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “Patrolling the paint and controlling the paint, scoring and rebounding…he did a lot out there.”

The Bears also had plenty of issues on offense, plagued by 10 turnovers for the game. Point guard Justin Cobbs struggled to find his shot for the third straight game, putting in just nine points on 4-of-15 shooting. Guard Allen Crabbe didn’t fare much better, connecting on just three of his 12 shots while looking visibly frustrated for much of the game.

The second half featured more of the same from Cal, which could not secure defensive rebounds and sustain scoring runs. The Bears looked poised to cut the lead to single digits after Solomon blew by his defender and finished with an emphatic one-handed jam to bring his team within 12 at 50-38.

Then Solomon sat back and watched as forward Desmond Simmons buried a 15-foot jumper, and it was back to square one.

“It was pretty apparent from the start that they were way more ready to play then we were,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “We didn’t have the poise that we needed.”

Forward David Kravish was the only Bear to shoot above 50 percent, leading his team with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting. The rest of his team combined to go just 13-for-43 for the game.

“We played with no heart, no passion,” Kravish said. “It’s a team effort, and we didn’t play very well as a team today.”

Contact Connor Byrne at [email protected]