Every record in athletics is bound to be broken the goal is to break the meaningful records and not be on the losing end of those not so glamorous records that put you at the end of a punch line.
The California Golden Bears 76-73 win over the No.25 ranked Washington Huskies snapped a 23 game Pac-12 Conference losing streak for the Golden Bears who undoubtedly played their best game of the season.
Darius McNeill scored 19 points and Connor Vanover added 18 to help California snap a 23-game losing streak in Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears (6-22, 1-15) had lost 16 straight games overall and hadn’t won a conference game since beating Oregon State on Feb. 3, 2018, including a loss in the Pac-12 tournament last March.
The Huskies (22-6, 13-2) had won 15 of 16 games coming into this matchup and still ended up earning the outright regular-season conference title when both Oregon State and Arizona State lost.
David Crisp scored 32 points to lead Washington but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to set off a rare celebration at Haas Pavilion.
Jaylen Nowell added 22 points for the Huskies.
Instead of wilting in the second half like they have so often this season, the Bears came out even stronger. They built a 67-60 lead midway through the half on a 3-pointer by Justice Sueing that forced Washington to take a timeout.
But the Huskies rallied from there and tied the game at 71 with less than five minutes to play when Nowell hit a 3-pointer and a fastbreak layup on successive possessions.
With the Huskies trailing by one in the final minute, Sueing blocked a layup by Nowell and Cal came up with the loose ball. Paris Austin made two free throws with 23.8 seconds to play to put the Bears up 76-73.
Dominic Green then missed a 3-pointer for Washington, but the Huskies got another chance when McNeill missed the front end of a one-and-one.
But Nowell and Crisp missed 3s in the final 6 seconds to give Cal the win.
Despite the big disparity in the standings between the teams, Cal managed to keep up with Washington at the start. The Bears went on a 13-2 run late in the first half to take a 42-34 lead capped by back-to-back baskets from Connor Vanover.
But Crisp ended that spurt with a 3-pointer and added another off-balance shot from long range just before the buzzer to give him 21 points in the half and cut Cal’s lead to 45-44.
Despite the loss to the Golden Bears, the Huskies won their first Pac-12 men’s basketball title since 2011-12. Washington will visit Stanford before returning home to host Oregon and Oregon State in the last two games of the regular season.