California edges Washington, 90-88, on Sam Singer's three-pointer

Sam Singer makes a three-pointer with five seconds left to give California a 90-88 victory over Washington

Sam Singer hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with five seconds left to lift California to a 90-88 win over Washington on Sunday.

Singer's shot came after Nigel Williams-Goss gave Washington an 88-87 lead, its first since early in the first half, with a short jumper at 19.5 seconds.

California, led by Jordan Mathews' 23 points and Tyrone Wallace's 21, had fended off the Huskies for most of the second half. Washington tied the game on four occasions before Williams-Goss' jumper.

The Huskies closed to within 87-86 with 1:18 left and forced Mathews to miss an off-balance jumper, but Mike Anderson immediately turned the ball over. Wallace was fouled on the ensuing inbounds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Williams-Goss, who had a game-high 31 points, the chance to put the Huskies in front.

But Singer caught the ball at the top of the key, gave a jab step to back off defender Andrew Andrews, and nailed the game-winner. Williams-Goss was well off the mark with a long jumper at the buzzer.

With a noon start and the hometown Seattle Seahawks playing in the Super Bowl, a sparse crowd was on hand at Alaska Airlines Arena. Even with Washington offering free admission to students wearing Seahawks gear, the student section was barely half full.

California appeared to have gained control of the game with a 40-27 lead with just less than three minutes left in the first half. The Huskies ended the first half on a 14-3 run, though, capped by a corner 3-pointer from Williams-Goss as time expired.

The run was keyed by consecutive 3-pointers from Darin Johnson, who had been reluctant to shoot from the outside. The Bears responded by having Johnson's defender sag to the middle, congesting the lane.

Johnson's ability to hit from beyond the arc opened the lanes for Washington's offense to penetrate with dribble-drives, and guards Williams-Goss and Andrews found enough holes to keep the Huskies close.

With just eight healthy scholarship players after the dismissal of Robert Upshaw from the team earlier this week, the Huskies again used a seven-man rotation. As it did in a loss to Stanford earlier in the week, Washington sorely missed the nation's leading shot-blocker, playing just two forwards - Shawn Kemp Jr. and true freshman Donaven Dorsey.

The Huskies went to a five-guard lineup on several occasions, one which California took advantage of by using 6 foot 10 David Kravish in the post. Kravish scored four straight points and commanded heavy attention as part of the first-half California run which gave the Bears a 13-point lead.

Kemp did a good job controlling the paint when he was in the game, and added two monstrous second-half dunks, as the Huskies looked to get him the ball in the post. But Kemp wasn't much help on the glass, and finished with just two rebounds in 23 minutes.

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