What the rest of college basketball watched was Washington come away with a 66-56 win over California on Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Arena.
Then there’s two additional viewpoints. One from UW’s players. Another from its first-year coach Mike Hopkins.
“It was definitely, definitely a great breather for us,” Huskies freshman guard Jaylen Nowell said. “Most of our games, we definitely did have to come back from being down.”
Coming in, the Huskies (13-4, 3-1 Pac-12 Conference) were 9-1 in games decided by less than 10 points.
So to get the team’s fourth win by more than 10 points, is a welcomed relief.
The Huskies were starting to create some space when Tacoma native David Crisp, with a second left on the shot clock, drilled a long distance 3-pointer.
Crisp’s shot gave UW a 54-43 lead with less than nine minutes left and brought the thousands in attendance at Hec Edmundson Pavilion to their feet.
UW’s next possession saw Crisp hit another 3-pointer for a 57-43 lead with 7:58 remaining.
From there, the Huskies never let the Golden Bears (7-10, 1-3) get within 10 points.
UW met certain bench marks. The Huskies shot 50 percent from the field and a blistering 47 percent from the 3-point line.
Hitting 47 percent from distance had a bit more meaning given the Huskies were 10 of 55 in their first three conference games.
Washington had seven players who played more than 16 minutes. Nowell scored a team-high 20 points while junior forward Noah Dickerson finished with 12.
Crisp and freshman forward Nahziah Carter each chipped in with 10. Freshman point guard Michael Carter III, in his second game back, went 16 minutes and gave the Huskies some flexibility running the offense.
“I felt like if we took care of the ball, with their press, it was easy to break,” Carter said. “Me being a ball-handler and Dave being a ball-handler and (Nowell), when all three of us are in, you can’t press us.”
Again, that’s how Carter and Nowell recounted the evening.
Hopkins saw something a bit different.
“I didn’t think we played well tonight,” Hopkins said. “Cal missed foul shots. I felt our offense in stretches, wasn’t good. It reminded me of an early-season game where it didn’t feel like there was a flow.
“It was really ugly. We allowed pressure, had bad turnovers but we found a way to win which I am happy for.”
Hopkins said there would be a lot of film to study after the game.
UW committed 20 turnovers and Cal scored 21 from those miscues.
The Golden Bears routinely operated out of a press which, at times, made getting the ball up court something of an adventure.
Washington led for nearly 30 minutes but were again plagued by lengthy scoreless stretches.
Already up by 16, the Huskies went nearly three minutes without scoring until Nowell drained two free throws with 4:19 left.
Nowell, who hit a jumper with 2:03 left, recorded the team’s only field goal in the final seven-plus minutes of the game.
“I’m not the happiest guy in the world right now,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins was asked about still trying to mesh youth with his experienced players.
At one point, Hopkins used a rotation with four freshmen and Dickerson.
Hopkins said his team’s youth wasn’t an excuse. He pointed out how three of the team’s four freshmen received heavy minutes earlier in the year.
Carter, who missed nearly eight weeks with a fractured wrist, has received time in the last two games.
“There was a lot of positives. I don’t like seeing 20 turnovers. I feel like they rushed us up a little bit,” Hopkins said. “We made some bad plays ... We’ve got good guards. We got really good players.
“I felt like our defense was really, really good. ... I just felt like the first eight points they scored were off turnovers.
“You can’t do that.”
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark