SEATTLE – Washington coaches tried to warn their players. They didn’t get the message.
Nate Wolters scored 34 points as South Dakota State broke Washington’s 32-game nonconference home winning streak with a 92-73 victory Sunday.
Washington’s last nonconference home loss was to Valparaiso in the College Basketball Invitational on March 14, 2008. Its last regular-season nonconference home loss was Dec. 8, 2007, to Pittsburgh.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar noticed a lack of energy at the team breakfast on Sunday. It persisted up to the noon start time, and then leaked into the game.
Romar also repeatedly warned his team of Wolters’ ability, even using an anecdote about Steve Nash leading Santa Clara past UCLA when Romar was an assistant for the Bruins.
Washington did not take heed.
“I don’t care who we play, we don’t lose like we did today at home,” Romar said. “It’s unacceptable. Unacceptable.”
Wolters controlled the entire game. He played all 40 minutes and added seven assists and five rebounds to his 34 points. He did not commit a turnover.
“We knew if we shut him down we win, but obviously, as you can see, we didn’t do that,” Washington guard Tony Wroten said.
Romar took it a step further.
“I haven’t seen a performance like that since Jason Kidd was in the Pac-10,” Romar said, referring to the NBA star’s days at Cal. “One of the best performances by a point guard I’ve ever seen at this level.”
Griffan Callahan added 16 points and Chad White scored 12 for the Jackrabbits (10-4), who shot 55 percent from the field.
Wroten led Washington with 23 points. Darnell Gant added 15 and C.J. Wilcox scored 12 points for the Huskies (5-5).
Washington used a 15-8 run to open the second half, cutting South Dakota State’s lead to 59-48 with 13:30 remaining, but that was as close as the Huskies would get.
Callahan hit a 3-pointer for an early 5-2 South Dakota State lead, and that was just the beginning for the Jackrabbits. They made their first seven 3-point attempts, led by as many as 21 in the half and went into the break ahead 51-33.
“Making shots like that can cut the heart out of anybody,” South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy said.
In the first half, South Dakota State made 59 percent of its shots overall, and 73 percent from behind the arc.
“We were getting anything we wanted,” Wolters said.
Washington’s game is Thursday against Cal State Northridge.
“If we’re playing like this on Thursday, we need to go back to the drawing board and change a lot of things,” Romar said.