Washington’s season ended on Monday night with a 93-78 loss at San Diego State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. I wasn’t there, but did watch the game on television, so here’s a quick, capsulated recap of UW’s 2015-16 finale. The Huskies finish the season with a 19-15 overall record.
PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Winston Shepard led the Aztecs with 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists. He was one of two SDSU players with a double-digit rebound total, a big part of an effort that saw the Aztecs out-board the Huskies 48-38. SDSU also finished with 16 offensive rebounds and 21 second-chance points, highlighting a season-long problem for the Huskies.
Dejounte Murray led UW with 20 points on 8-for-23 shooting, Marquese Chriss added 19 points in 21 minutes, and Andrew Andrews scored 17 points on 4-for-13 shooting in his final collegiate game.
IT WAS OVER WHEN -- The Huskies trimmed San Diego State’s lead from 18 points to five late in the second half, but the Aztecs finished the game on a 12-5 run to put it away in the final minutes. They never trailed in the second half.
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STAT OF THE GAME -- San Diego State, which shoots 32.2 percent from 3-point range as a team, made 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. The Aztecs shot 44.8 percent from the field and 26-of-36 from the free-throw line.
WHAT IT MEANS -- The Huskies lost this game for the same reason they lost many games this season: they didn’t play defense often enough, they didn’t give enough effort on the glass, and they couldn’t quite get over the hump when the game was within reach in the final minutes. The loss itself doesn’t mean a whole lot -- this was the NIT, after all, so it was already a disappointment that UW was even playing in this tournament. The big question facing the program now: will Murray or Chriss return next season? Will both declare for the NBA draft? Will one? Will neither? If they come back for their sophomore seasons, the Huskies might be one of the preseason favorites to contend for the Pac-12 title. If both leave, they’ll have a lot more work to do. But if you watched on Monday night, you know there is plenty of that to do, anyway.
UP NEXT -- Next season.