Two nights after one of Washington’s worst offensive showings in decades in Eugene, the Huskies responded Saturday night in Corvallis with one of their worst defensive efforts of the season, allowing lowly Oregon State to get away with a 97-94 win in double overtime that dealt a serious blow to UW’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Stephen Thompson Jr. hit a three-pointer from the left wing with 0.3 seconds left to complete a comeback from a 13-point deficit with 8:24 left. Washington, normally good at defending the three-ball, allowed the Beavers to drain five treys in a row late in the second half.
For the game, the Beavers made nine of 19 beyond the arc and shot 55.6 percent overall. After scoring just 30 points in the first half, OSU had 50 in the second half, include a layup by Tres Tinkle with 40 seconds left — it was OSU’s 10th made field goal in their final 12 shots of regulation — that tied the game at 80 and forced overtime.
“We self-destructed on the defensive end,” Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said. “You could hear us screaming from the bench, ‘No threes!’ We let guys get hot shooting the ball and just didn’t defend the line.
“And we gave up 25 points on 19 turnovers against a team that doesn’t pressure. Just bad basketball. You can’t turn the ball over like that at this level. I got no explanation for it.”
Noah Dickerson continued his strong play, tying his career high of 28 points to go with 12 rebounds. Jaylen Nowell added 23 points, but his seven turnovers, including two in the overtimes, were critical in keeping the Beavs in the game.
Flying high after an upset win over ninth-ranked Arizona a week ago at Hec Ed, the Huskies traveled to the Willamette Valley expecting at least a road split. But after a 65-40 loss to the Ducks, OSU loomed large in sustaining their NCAA tourney hopes.
But a loss to one of the Pac-12’s weakest teams (13-11, 5-7 ) leaves Washington with little room for error in their final six regular season games.
The Huskies nearly lost in regulation when Tinkle, who had a game-high 29 points, put back a Thompson miss, but the shot came just after the horn.
It was Oregon State’s turn to almost win at the end of the first overtime. Tied at 87 with 3.3 seconds left, Thompson, who was fouled on a dubious call against Washington center Sam Timmins, missed both free throws to force another extra period.
The Huskies looked dead inside 40 seconds down 94-90, but Matisse Thybulle hit a three, then helped trap on defense, forcing a bad pass from Thompson that Dickerson recovered. Dominic Green, the hero of the Arizona upset with a buzzer-beating three, was fouled with 10.1 seconds left. But he missed the first and made the second free throw to tie.
Thompson, who finished with 22 points, took over the buzzer-beating chores from Green.
“After losing at Oregon, we played hard,” Hopkins said. “But we didn’t play smart.”