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UW Basketball: Washington Jumps Out To A Commanding 58-34 Halftime Lead

It would be unfair to say that this game between the Washington Huskies and Cal Golden Bears is "over" at halftime - a 58-34 lead is certainly not insurmountable by any means.

But right now, Washington appears to be playing as though it never occurred to them that they would come back home and lose their fourth game in a row.

It would be shocking if they just all of a sudden relented and let Cal back in this one.

As many might have hoped for, the defensive intensity was definitely higher. It's not just forcing turnovers, but deflecting balls, shutting down backdoor passing lanes, contesting shots from the perimeter, and not allowing easy layups. Yet despite UW doing a pretty good job of disrupting Cal's offense, the Golden Bears actually had a solid offensive half, shooting 13-for-26 and not turning the ball excessively.

The far bigger difference was that the Huskies fed off their defensive intensity and found their rhythm on offense. Finishing the half shooting 10-for-17 from 3-point land, it's not exactly like they were shooting less threes either as some people suggested they should - they were just much more decisive in passing the ball around the perimeter and more patient in finding those shots they did make. The result was assisting on 18 of their 22 field goals and shooting 59.5 percent from the field.

UW guard Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Huskies with 11 points and six assists while forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning re-asserted himself with 10 points and three rebounds. Center Aziz N'Diaye was an integral part of the Huskies defensive effort to protect the rim and pulled in four rebounds in addition to a number of contested shots.

For Cal, guard Jorge Gutierrez maintained his solid play individually with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and doing an effective job of creating offense for himself.

All that said, what you might look for now is whether UW can maintain this level of play or anything close to it. UW coach Lorenzo Romar said earlier in the week that turning things around was more about maintaining a high intensity level than actually changing anything structurally.

This second half is the first opportunity to demonstrate that their back on track.