SEATTLE — Midway through the first half, C.J. Wilcox hit two 3-pointers to give Washington a 14-point lead over No. 10 Connecticut and the crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion was roaring and an upset seemed in reach.
Then UConn came out after a timeout and took control, gaining the lead before halftime and going on to an 82-70 victory Sunday.
“We had the opportunity to put our foot on them, but we let them go,” Wilcox said.
Once Connecticut made its run, Washington had no answer. Although UW fought to keep the game in reach even after UConn built its own 14-point lead in the second half, Washington never mounted a serious charge.
“Right now we’re not mature enough to handle runs from the other team. We’re not mature enough to handle the adversity that comes up during the season,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said.
Wilcox led Washington (6-5) with 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting and had four assists. Darin Johnson had 13 points for Washington and Mike Anderson, who is from Hartford, Conn., added 10 points.
Shabazz Napier scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds to lead Connecticut (10-1). Fellow guard Ryan Boatright had 16 points and five rebounds and Lasan Kromah scored 14 points in the first true road game of the season for UConn.
Connecticut missed its first six shots from behind the arc as UW built a double-digit lead.
Wilcox’s 3-pointers gave UW a 31-17 lead with 7 minutes to go in the first half. Those shots, however, seemed to give the visiting Huskies a wakeup call.
“It gave us a little sense of urgency when they started getting up by 10 and 13,” Napier said.
UConn answered with a 15-2 run, including a stretch of 10 straight points. Connecticut took the lead for the first time since the opening minutes when DeAndre Daniel’s layup made it 39-37 with 1:46 left in the first half, and UConn led 43-39 at halftime.
Connecticut scored the first six points of the second half to push the lead to 10 points, and then used a nine-point run to pull away to 62-48 with 11 minutes to play. Washington wasn’t able to get back into the game.