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Sports >  UW basketball

Washington men, still hampered by COVID issues, fall to Utah Valley

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 21, 2021

By Percy Allen Seattle Times

Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The COVID-19 outbreak that forced a two-week suspension of team activities and wiped out three marquee games is still plaguing the Washington men’s basketball team more than three weeks after the first initial positive tests for the virus.

Senior forward Jamal Bey and sophomore guard Dominiq Penn were placed in COVID protocols and missed Tuesday’s 68-52 nonconference loss against Utah Valley at Alaska Airlines Arena.

The short-handed Huskies (5-5) were also missing assistants Will Conroy, Wyking Jones and Quincy Pondexter, who are in health and safety protocols.

UW had its full complement of players last Saturday for a 64-56 win over Seattle University, which was its first game since Nov. 27.

Bey, a UW co-captain, made 28 consecutive starts and appeared in 71 straight games before Tuesday. He’s tied for fourth among the Huskies in scoring (9.1 points per game) and third in rebounding (4.9) while averaging 30.3 minutes.

His absence seemingly threw the Huskies out of sync, especially on the offensive end.

Washington trailed 30-27 in the first half and fell behind 45-35 with 13:04 remaining.

Despite its depleted roster, UW coach Mike Hopkins, who normally opts for an 8-man rotation, used 10 players with hopes of finding someone other than Terrell Brown Jr. (23 points) who might trigger a dormant offense.

Hopkins was also searching for anyone who might bring some energy off a Husky bench that was uncharacteristically lifeless.

Unwittingly, backup forward Sam Ariyibi gave the Huskies a spark after casually throwing a pass that was intercepted at midcourt.

After the play, Brown verbally chastised Ariyibi and admonished the freshman big man for standing at midcourt while UVU guard Le’Tre Darthard (16 points) flushed a fast-break dunk.

After a UW timeout, the Huskies went on an 8-2 run to pull to 56-47 with 5:02 left.

Washington never got any closer the rest of the way.

The 52 points is a season low for the Huskies and the fewest since scoring 42 against UC Riverside on Dec. 1, 2020. UW shot 35.2%, including 0 for 11 on three-pointers and was 14 of 26 at the line.

Washington, which had its Pac-12 opener at Arizona rescheduled to Jan. 25 and forfeited a much-anticipated game against UCLA, opens conference play Dec. 29 at Washington State.

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