LAS VEGAS – Paul Mulcahy had a chance to vanquish San Diego State with one second remaining in regulation and give the Huskies an upset win.
After falling behind 12 points with 5 minutes left, he drained 1 of 2 free throw attempts to tie it at 85-85 and force overtime.
In the extra period, the Washington men’s basketball team gave up six straight points in the final 1:30 and after Moses Wood’s 3-point attempt missed at the buzzer, the Huskies lost 100-97 in OT.
The Huskies threw everything at San Diego State and for a while they had the Aztecs reeling and looking for answers to stop Mulcahy, Wood and Sahvir Woods.
Washington received significant contributions from several sources and played its most complete game of the season, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a heartbreaking defeat in the Continental Tire Main Event championship game at T-Mobile Arena.
Keion Brooks Jr. scored eight of his team-high 22 points in OT, Wheeler had 19 points and six assists, Wood broke out shooting slump and had a season-high 18 points, including four three-pointers.
Mulcahy had 11 points and 13 assists, which is the fifth most in Huskies history, and Franck Kepnang finished with 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out .
UW falls to 3-2.
In the first half, Jaedon LeDee gave UW’s trio of centers fits inside and proved to be problematic due to his strength and explosiveness.
The 6-foot-9 , 240-pound Aztecs forward was too quick for Kepnang, too elusive on the perimeter for Braxton Meah and too strong in the paint for Wilheim Breidnbach, who combined for eight points, eight rebounds and seven fouls before the break.
Meanwhile, LeDee had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in the first half, which ended with former Seattle University standout Darrion Trammell burying a three-pointer at the buzzer to give San Diego State a 43-40 lead.
Washington fell behind 47-40 early in the second half and switched to a 2-3 zone for the first time this season. The defensive switch sparked a 10-2 run that included eight straight points and capped by Brooks’ jumper, which put the Huskies up 50-49 and gave them their first lead since late in the first half.
Wood dropped another 3 that knotted the score at 55-55 with 12:07 left.
Momentum continued to swing like a pendulum for the next five minutes before the Aztecs took control for good after LeDee drilled three straight midrange jumpers from the top of the key over Meah for a 71-64 lead with 7:02 left.
Following a couple of Brooks’ free throws, the Aztecs scored seven straight and went up 78-66 with 5:14 remaining.
Washington outscored SDSU 19-7 to force OT.
LeDee finished with a career-high 34 points and 17 rebounds for San Diego State (4-1).
The Huskies have a nine-day break before their Dec. 28 matchup against UC San Diego at Alaska Airlines Arena.