BERKELEY, Calif. — For the second straight game, the Washington Huskies raced out to a phenomenal start and dominated the first half behind a suffocating defensive performance.
Last week, they watched their 17-point lead disappear before pulling out a win in the final seconds. On Wednesday night, Washington controlled the second half while sailing to a 62-47 Pac-12 men’s basketball victory over California at Haas Pavilion.
Junior guard C.J. Wilcox led the Huskies (10-5, 2-0 league) with 19 points, and senior center Aziz N’Diaye had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season.
Cal (9-6, 1-2) received 14 points from sophomore forward David Kravish. Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game coming in, was held to nine.
While the Golden Bears’ 47 points were a season low for a Washington opponent, the rebound disparity told the story of this game.
The Huskies pummeled Cal 43-28 on the glass, including 18-9 in offensive rebounds.
It got so bad for the Bears that you could hear the groans echo around the 79-year-old building each time Washington missed a shot and the Huskies collected the rebound.
When Scott Suggs missed a short jumper in the first half, reserve forward Jernard Jarreau cleaned the glass for a putback.
When Wilcox’s floater rattled out, 6-foot-2 guard Andrew Andrews sailed over 6-10 Richard Solomon for the rebound and scored to put UW ahead 54-38 with less than eight minutes left.
And when Cal desperately needed the ball, the Huskies gobbled up almost every missed shot.
Tied 18-18 midway in the first half, Washington went on a 16-0 run to surge ahead 34-18. The Huskies took control of the game with the same dominating defensive effort they displayed at Washington State last weekend, when they led 21-4 and then 34-27 at the break.
Once again the Huskies forced turnovers. They controlled the glass. They smothered Crabbe, frustrated Justin Cobbs and had Cal coach Mike Montgomery shouting from the sideline, “What floor are we on?”
What floor, indeed.
Haas Pavilion might as well have been Alaska Airlines Arena because the Huskies strolled into Berkley and made themselves at home while the Bears couldn’t shoot straight.
Washington led 34-20 at halftime. That was a season-low halftime total for Cal and for a UW opponent.
The Golden Bears shot 36.4 percent (8 of 22) from the floor in the first half. Even when the Huskies weren’t defending, Cal couldn’t make a basket. The Bears made 3 of 10 free throws.