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Sports >  UW basketball

Washington men drop another nonconference home game, falling to Winthrop

Nov. 27, 2021 Updated Sat., Nov. 27, 2021 at 9:41 p.m.

By Percy Allen Seattle Times

Stunned into disbelief, Terrell Brown Jr. stood motionless and stared hard into the Alaska Airlines Arena court.

It happened again.

The Washington men’s basketball team lost for the third time in five games on its home floor following an 82-74 defeat against Winthrop.

After eight games, the Huskies are 4-4 during what was supposed to be easy part of their nonconference schedule.

Next week, UW begins a treacherous three-game stretch starting with a trek to No. 17 Arizona on Thursday followed by home game against No. 2 UCLA on Dec. 5 before ending with a Dec. 12 matchup at cross-state – rival? – No. 1 Gonzaga.

During the Mike Hopkins era, Washington is 4-12 against the aforementioned trio and the next two weeks was billed as an early-season measuring stick for a UW program with hopes of moving to the top half of the Pac-12 after two consecutive losing seasons.

But Saturday night was 2020-21 all over again in the worse way.

Far too often, these Huskies look too much like last season’s Huskies.

They committed too many turnovers in the first half and not enough three-pointers at the end.

They couldn’t consistently generate points on a night when Brown, who entered the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring (22.4 points per game), had an off night. Still, he finished with 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting and six assists.

And they couldn’t stop Winthrop’s big man DJ Burns Jr. from torching them inside with a game-high 24 points on 12-for-21 shooting and nine assists.

Two statistics tell the story of this game.

Late in the second half, the Eagles outscored the Huskies 34-18 in the paint. And Winthrop feasted on UW’s miscues and enjoyed a 20-10disparity in points off turnovers.

Daejon Davis, who had been mired in a shooting slump, gave a UW team that was 329th nationally in field goal shooting (39%) an early lift while canning his first three 3-point attempts. He finished with a season-high 18 points.

Emmitt Matthews (Jr. (12 points) also drained two 3s in the opening minutes for Washington was 7 of 14 behind the arc in the first half.

Normally, a robust perimeter attack equals success for the Huskies, but first-half 10 turnovers undermined their efforts. Winthrop led for 18:48 minutes in the first half and was up 35-30 at halftime.

After falling behind 53-41, Hopkins went with a small four-guard lineup and full-court press that produced mixed results.

The Eagles were quick enough to dribble out of pressure and raced down court for fast break attempts that often ended with Burns scoring a layup over a defender.

The Huskies never got closer than six points in the final 12 minutes.

Washington, which trailed for 38:29 minutes, capped a roller coaster Thanksgiving week a second straight defeat against a mid-major that erased all the good will the team built with two inspiring wins days ago ag the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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