Here's my story on the game that ends what most will consider a disappointing UW basketball season.
And it ended in a way that fit the entire season. Close, but not quite. And specifically, with Jon Brockman missing two free throws in the final seconds that could have won the game, or at least sent it to overtime.
For the game, Washington was 11 of 24 at the free throw line: 45.8 percent.
Naturally, the Huskies were disappointed with the loss. But they said they were glad they had accepted the CBI bid and got to play in another game. They also said they believe that next year they'll improve enough to get back into the tournament that everybody actually wanted to be in.
I'll write more about that over the weekend. But for now, a last look at this last game:
Star of the game: Operating on a still-tender ankle, UW forward Jon Brockman came off the bench for a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. It was his 23 double-double of the season, a UW record. He scored in double digits in every game this season.
Key stats: Washington took 24 free throws and missed 13 of them. … The Huskies also had shooting problems from the field, hitting 44 percent and 25 percent from the 3-point arc. … UW had a 20-2 advantage in points off turnovers, a 7-0 advantage in fast-break points and the bench outscored Valpo's reserves 45-24.
Key run: Washington missed its last seven shots from the field while being shut out over the final three minutes and 10 seconds.
Observations: Artem Wallace suffered a knee injury in the opening minutes and never returned. "It kind of buckled on me," he said. "I went to plant to take off and try to block a shot and the knee kind of just felt like there was a snap of some sort. It was pretty painful." Wallace will undergo tests soon to determine the severity of the injury. … UW senior Ryan Appleby hit one 3-pointer to conclude his career with a school-record 231 treys and he ranks fourth with a 41.3 3-point shooting percentage. ... Freshman guard Venoy Overton ended the season with 107 assists, second only to Justin Dentmon's freshman record of 124.
Next: Washington's season is over. Valpo advances to the CBI quarterfinals Monday at Houston.
A few reactions:
Brockman on those final free throws:"I thought I was going to make them. That's kind of been our (problem) all year, something that's cost us a lot of games. (This) was an example: We could have won the game. … I just feel bad for our guys. I can't help but feel that I let them down a little bit."
Coach Lorenzo Romar, looking back: "Down the stretch, we certainly had our chances and didn't capitalize.(Valparaiso) took advantage of their opportunities. I don't think it (is) more complicated than that."
Romar, looking backward and forward: "If we were a decent foul shooting team, I firmly believe we'd be in the NCAA tournament. … We did a lot of good down the stretch. If we can carry over into next season, with additional players coming in that shoot free throw well, we can take the next step and get back to where we need to be."
Appleby, on if he's glad they accepted the CBI bid: "It was nice to be able to get another chance … to come out here and get one more game. Obviously, it would have been a lot better if we would have won."