SEATTLE — Without hesitation, Desmond Simmons slid off his man and into the driving lane, planted his feet and waited to absorb the hit from Stanford’s Chasson Randle.
It was clearly an offensive foul, and clearly the biggest play of the game for Washington.
“Des just did what he always does and made a really good defensive play and saved us,” Washington’s C.J. Wilcox said.
Wilcox overcame a poor shooting night to finish with 17 points, Simmons drew the crucial charge against Randle with 5.3 seconds remaining, and Washington held on for a 64-60 win over Stanford on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Wilcox made just 4 of 14 shots, but played all 40 minutes as the Huskies (14-11, 6-6 Pac-12) won for the first time since Jan. 25. Wilcox hit a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds left for the final margin.
Those free throws came just moments after Simmons stepped in front of Randle and made the biggest defensive play in a game Washington needed.
Simmons finished with only four points, but had seven rebounds.
“He was relentless,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “Those are the plays we expect Desmond to make at the end of that game, taking that charge. Those are the things he does that help you win ballgames.”
While Wilcox led Washington, the bigger scoring contributions came from Nigel Williams-Goss and Mike Anderson. Williams-Goss finished with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, playing through a hip injury that was aggravated in the second half. Anderson added 13 points off the bench, his first time in double figures in 14 games. Anderson provided a huge boost with Andrew Andrews spending most of the night on the bench after picking up two early fouls.
Andrews, who was averaging 12 points per game entering Wednesday, played just 5 minutes and was scoreless.
“The way we were going, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It was one of those situations,” Romar said.
Dwight Powell led Stanford (15-8, 6-5) with 18 points and Randle added 17, but scored just four in the second half. Randle tied his career high with 33 points in the first meeting against Washington when he hit 11 of 15 shots in a 79-67 victory.
He appeared headed for a similar night after a strong first half, but was corralled in the final 20 minutes. Randle made 1 of 6 shots in the second half.
“They changed their lineup in the second half . they were a little bit bigger out there because of that,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “They played well. As I said, we just give them credit, defensively they did a good job and I don’t think we executed very well.”
Stanford led 46-41 midway through the second half after Josh Huestis scored five straight points while Williams-Goss was in the locker room getting treatment on his right hip. Williams-Goss returned and the Huskies immediately got consecutive dunks from Shawn Kemp Jr. Three free throws from Anderson and a floater by Williams-Goss pulled the Huskies even at 52-all and Wilcox’s free throw with 5:48 left gave the Huskies a one-point lead.
Stanford went back ahead led 58-55 with 3:22 left after Powell rebounded his own miss and scored underneath. Williams-Goss then converted a three-point play to pull the Huskies even at 58-58 with 3:06 left.
Anthony Brown split free throws with 2:50 left, but Simmons knocked down a 17-footer from the baseline for a 60-59 Washington lead with 2:22 left. Powell had a chance to give Stanford the lead but missed a 5-footer with 1:10 left. Wilcox was fouled and hit both free throws with 54 seconds left for a three-point lead.
Randle made just 1 of 2 free throws with 49 seconds left, but Wilcox couldn’t get a left-handed runner to fall. Stanford had two chances in the final 20 seconds to pull even. Randle tried to get to the basket quickly after Wilcox’s miss, but his shot was off and deflected off Washington, giving Stanford possession with 17 seconds left. Randle eventually drove to the rim, but Simmons slid off his man and was set in position to draw the charge.
“I thought it was a charge all the way,” Romar said. “I know what you’re saying, you just don’t know what is going to be called, but I don’t think I have a biased opinion. I thought Des stood his ground and was there early enough.”