Best thing about the game for Washington Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion was that it brought the Huskies one game closer to the end of a dreadful season. Third-ranked UCLA won 98-66, UW’s 11th los in a row that continues a school record, and was nearly as bad the 107-66 drubbing UCLA handed the Huskies Feb. 4 at Hec Ed.
Playing for the fourth time in the past six games without star freshman Markelle Fultz (sore knee), Washington called a timeout after falling behind 5-0, and it was 11-0 before the Huskies scored. It grew worse thereafter, a 21-point halftime lead ballooning to 42 before benches were emptied.
“They got off quick at home, and that’s a very, very good basketball team,” said coach Lorenzo Romar. “You can’t make mistakes against them. That’s a team can get to the Final Four and maybe win a national championship.”
Noah Dickerson tied his career high with 23 points and added 15 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season. That was about it for Washington. David Crisp, taking over the point for Fultz, was 3 for 17 from the field (0-for-8 on threes) and had four of UW’s 20 turnovers, which made for a 34-7 UCLA advantage in points off turnovers.
Bryce Alford, the Pac-12 leader in three-point shooting, hit 7 of 14 and had 29 points. Lonzo Ball had 19 points, seven rebounds, four steals and eight assists, bettering his nation-leading average of 7.6. He passed Cal’s Jason Kidd for the second-most assists by a freshman in Pac-12 history, two shy of tying the mark by Oregon State’s Gary Payton.
The Huskies are 9-20 and 2-15 in conference play. They need to beat USC Saturday to avoid their worst record since the Pac-8 went to 10 teams and an 18-game schedule in 1978-79. Their worst finish since then was 1993-94, 5-22 and 3-15 in Bob Bender’s first season as coach.