Updated Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM
It's one thing for Washington to lose by a point at home to Albany, a mid-major from New York that had never beaten a team from a BCS conference.
It's another thing entirely for the Huskies to fall so ungracefully at home again in a 73-55 defeat to Colorado State that was decided early in the second half.
"Just a tough game to swallow," junior guard C.J. Wilcox said.
It's been a woeful 48 hours for Washington fans still reeling from the 31-28 Apple Cup defeat Friday.
Saturday's loss in front of 7,409 at Alaska Airlines Arena was even more improbable considering the Huskies hadn't suffered back-to-back home defeats to non-conference opponents since 2000.
The last time it happened, the Huskies finished 10-20.
The prospects for this UW squad might not be any rosier if injuries continue to decimate the roster.
There were few positives for Washington in a game that highlighted its struggles this season.
Even Wilcox, who scored a career-high 28 points, walked slowly off the floor rubbing his tailbone. He fell hard in the final minute while attempting to grab a rebound and wasn't sure if injury was serious.
"We'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow," Wilcox said.
It was that type of game for Washington, which played without fifth-year senior guard Scott Suggs, who has plantar fasciitis. His return is uncertain.
The Huskies are also missing sophomore Shawn Kemp Jr., a backup forward, who has yet to play this season because of a knee injury.
"We have a small margin of error," Wilcox said noting UW's lack of depth.
The Huskies had nearly as many players inactive (five) than they in the rotation (eight).
Despite the shortage of players, senior co-captain Abdul Gaddy believes Washington needs to make just "a minor fix" after starting the season 2-3.
"We're fine, we just got to rally up," he said. "We have great team chemistry. It's a minor fix. ... We just got to get that swagger back about us and just go out there and play.
"Don't put too much pressure on ourselves just because we're 2-3. It's a long season."
But UW's rebounding issues aren't minor.
Colorado State had more offensive rebounds (24) than Huskies had total rebounds (21). The Rams finished with 45 boards.
"We failed miserably in that area," coach Lorenzo Romar said.
Colorado State's dominance on the glass gave the Rams 17 more shots than UW. They also connected on 8 of 18 three-pointers and had four players finish in double-digit scoring, led by Greg Smith's 15.
Meanwhile Washington's offense was Wilcox or bust.
No one else scored more than Gaddy's nine points. And even Gaddy wasn't very effective. He didn't score in the second half and Romar benched him in the final minutes because of a defensive miscue.
"He was telling me you can't let your offensive woes affect you defensively," Gaddy said. "I heard his message and I'm learning from it. It won't happen again."
Washington led 38-32 with 17:09 left when Colorado State (4-0) went on a 15-0 run and took control of the game.
The Huskies trailed by as many as 20 points.
Despite consecutive home losses, Romar isn't hitting the panic button.
"Come back, regroup and understand we can't continue to say it's early in the season because it won't be after awhile," he said. "But it is early in the season.
"We're going to be all right. We got guys coming back. Guys coming off injury that will be able to help our team."
|COLORADO ST. 73|
Attendance: 7,409. Officials: Tony Padilla, Gregory Nixon, Ken Ditty.
BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES
There was nothing for UW to smile about in the second half as Colorado State outscored the Huskies 45-25.
BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Washington guard C.J. Wilcox loses the ball to Colorado State's Pierce Hornung. Wilcox scored 28 for UW, but the rest of the team combined for 27.