Matisse Thybulle had 17 points, six steals and five blocked shots, Jaylen Nowell added 12 points, and Washington claimed a share of the Pac-12 regular season title with a 64-55 win over Colorado on Saturday night.
The Huskies (22-5, 13-1 Pac-12) won for the 15th time in 16 games and claimed a share of the league title with four regular season games remaining. It’s the first time Washington has claimed a piece of the conference crown since the 2011-12 season and the Huskies need just one win in their final four games to earn the league title outright.
The turnaround orchestrated in just two seasons under Mike Hopkins has Washington back on top of the conference and seemingly headed to its first NCAA tournament berth since 2011 no matter what happens the rest of the conference season or in Las Vegas at the Pac-12 tournament.
Thybulle was once again the instigator of Washington’s defense that has held every conference opponent except Arizona State to 70 points or less. The Huskies forced 19 turnovers and Thybulle moved into second place on the conference’s all-time steals list, trailing only Gary Payton. Thybulle has 301 career steals.
David Crisp added 10 points and Washington improved to 14-0 at home this season.
Tyler Bey led Colorado (16-11, 7-8) with 20 points, but D’Shawn Schwartz was the only other Buffaloes player in double figures with 10 points. Bey also added 11 rebounds. Leading scorer McKinley Wright IV was held to four points and attempted just five shots.
Washington led by 18 midway through the second half. The Huskies started the second half on a 16-6 spurt and Nowell’s tipin with 9:59 left gave Washington a 59-41 lead. But Colorado had one final run, pulling within 59-50 on Bey’s basket underneath with 7:09 left.
Thybulle scored in the lane for Washington and after several minutes of empty possessions Thybulle added a free throw with 3:25 left for a 62-50 lead. That proved to be enough as Colorado went more than 5 1/2 minutes without scoring, committing four turnovers during the stretch.
Utah 92, at Washington State 79: Sedrick Barefield scored 33 points to lead Utah to a victory over Washington State on Saturday night.
Donnie Tillman added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Utah (15-12, 9-6 Pac-12). Parker Van Dyke had 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
Robert Franks scored 29 points with seven rebounds for Washington State (11-16, 4-10). CJ Elleby added 16 points and seven rebounds.
Utah led 45-43 at halftime but broke things open early in the second half with a 6-0 run after Van Dyke knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers within 40 seconds of each other, giving Utah a 64-50 advantage with 13:04 remaining.
Utah led by double digits for most of the second half. The Cougars were able to get within eight points in the last two minutes but were denied by clutch free-throw shooting from the Utes.
Barefield, Van Dyke and Both Gach made 10 of 12 free throws for the Utes in the last 2:35. Gach caught a long pass down court from Charles Jones, and finished with a big dunk to seal the victory with 52 seconds remaining.
Loyola Marymount 63, at Pacific 56: James Batemon had 19 points as the Lions (18-10, 6-8) overcame Roberto Gallinat’s season-high 31 points to beat the Tigers for the second time this season and hand them their fifth consecutive loss.
at Pepperdine 86, Portland 80: Colbey Ross had 23 points, making 14 of 16 free throws, and 10 assists as the Waves (13-16, 6-9 West Coast Conference) beat the Pilots for the second time this season and handed them their 15th loss in a row.
Long Beach State 73, at UC Riverside 65, OT: Deishuan Booker and Jordan Roberts scored 18 points apiece and the 49ers (11-18, 5-8 Big West) pulled away after the Highlanders’ Jordan Gilliam forced overtime on a three with 22 seconds left. Callum McRae led UCR with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
at Cal State Northridge 81, UC Davis 76, OT: Freshman forward Lamine Diane scored 35 points with 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals, and the Matadors won in overtime. Despite his big game, Diane kept it close by missing nine of 18 free throws.
at UC Santa Barbara 82, Cal State Fullerton 67: Max Heidegger had 19 points as the Gauchos (19-8, 8-5 Big West) snapped the Titans’ four-game win streak. Khalil Ahmad had 27 points for Fullerton (13-14, 9-4). Kyle Allman Jr. added 16 points. Jackson Rowe had 10 points.
Cal Baptist 72, at Cal State Bakersfield 58: Senior guard Jordan Heading scored a season-high 28 points and the Lancers (15-11, 6-6 Western Athletic) won for the fifth time in six games. Jarkel Joiner led the Roadrunners with 22 points.