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Magpayo, UC Riverside Make History in Upset

Highlanders get a great win over Washington and get a nice little bonus along the way

UC-Riverside v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

It might not have been the prettiest way to do it, but interim head coach Mike Magpayo got his first win as UC Riverside’s head coach, knocking off the Pac-12’s University of Washington Huskies in Seattle, 57-42.

A power conference team scored 42 points. Yeah, I said it wasn’t pretty.

Senior center Jock Perry led the way with 21 points and 4 rebounds for the Highlanders, but the defining stats (on both sides) were shooting percentages. UC-Riverside shot a dismal 36.1% from the floor, 28.6% from three, and 53.8% from the free thrown line. And they won by 15.

That’s because the Huskies shot 29.6% from the floor and 15% from three (visibly gags). It’s not a basketball performance to write home about, certainly. Washington lost so much from an already under-achieving squad last year when both Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart went pro (although that was no surprise). It’s now Kentucky transfer Quade Green’s team, and although he put up 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, it wasn’t enough to drag his teammates to a win.

Sure, it’s really cool that the Big West nabbed a good win over a Pac-12 school (although we can debate how good UW is this year). But what makes this game — and win — really special is Riverside’s interim coach. Magpayo is the first D-1 head coach of Filipino or Asian descent. So not only did he get a big win with his squad, but he gets to put his name in the history books forevermore. That’s neat. I’d certainly like to be the first person to do something.

Oh, and to add icing to the cake, per Jeff Goodman, Mike just became a dad last week. All in all, a pretty cool way to start your head coaching career.

KenPom has UC Riverside projected in the top three of the Big West, so it’ll be fun to watch this team duke it out with the top of the league for a tournament bid come spring.