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Updated Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Washington off the mark, loses on road to Connecticut

By Mike Scandura
Special to The Seattle Times

HARTFORD, Conn. — One look at that stat sheet answered most questions regarding why Connecticut beat Washington 61-53 in a nonleague game Saturday night at the XL Center.

For example, Washington (8-5) set season lows in points (53), field-goal percentage (29.7 on 19 of 64) and three-point percentage (23.5 on 4 of 17).

And Washington's seasonlong rebounding issue was a problem again as UConn (10-2) outrebounded the Huskies 40-36, only the second time Connecticut has had more rebounds than its opponent this season.

"You have to give UConn credit in that they did a good job on the boards," UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. "There were a lot of shots to be had on the backboards with us shooting a low percentage. On the offensive boards, we were able to get 14 to their seven, but that wasn't enough."

C.J. Wilcox, Washington's top scorer, was held to five points on 2-for-12 shooting.

Scott Suggs led the Huskies with 15 points,

UConn, meanwhile, had a trio of double-figure scorers in Omar Calhoun (14), Shabazz Napier (13) and Ryan Boatright (12).

"UConn came out aggressive on defense early, but the ball did not go down for us," Romar said of UConn's man-to-man defense.

Wilcox blamed himself for missing shots, especially when he had good looks at the basket.

"On a couple of those shots, they played good defense," Wilcox said. "But half of them were wide-open shots, and they just weren't falling. There weren't any excuses.

"I was surprised we weren't making shots. But it was one of those nights where the shots weren't falling. In pregame shooting, we all felt comfortable. But during the game they didn't fall."

It was the final nonconference game for Washington, which opens the Pac-12 season Saturday at Washington State.

"We're going to take what we can from the loss," Wilcox said. "It shouldn't carry over. We're going to go to practice next week and build on what we can."

"We played another team (in the Big East), Seton Hall, and we played Ohio State, who was No. 4 in the country," Romar said. "This was a game against a good, storied program from a strong conference.

"If we had been successful, it would have helped us. Now, we must get ready for our conference."

Even though Washington shot a frigid 32.3 percent (10 for 31) in the first half, it still trailed just 31-25 at intermission.

One reason UConn didn't lead by more was UW forced four turnovers in the last four minutes.

Suggs drained a three-point shot after the first of those UConn miscues to give Washington a 24-23 lead. But UConn built a five-point halftime lead by going 8 for 8 from the foul line in the final 3:57.

UConn opened the second half with a 13-4 run capped by an alley-oop jam by Calhoun.

Washington countered with a 15-5 run that sliced its deficit to 50-45 with 7:75 remaining. But a 9-1 UConn run ended Washington's chances.

"I give a lot of credit to UConn tonight," Romar said. "Down the stretch they probably turned the ball over more times than they would have liked. But, overall, they were able to do what they tried to do."

WASHINGTON 53
min fgm-a ftm-a or-t a pf pts
Simmons 32 2-8 1-2 6-10 0 2 6
N'Diaye 14 0-3 0-0 1-3 0 3 0
Gaddy 23 4-10 0-1 3-6 3 5 8
Suggs 39 5-15 3-3 0-2 4 1 15
Wilcox 34 2-12 0-0 0-2 1 1 5
Andrews 23 2-5 5-7 2-6 2 4 9
Jarreau 14 0-2 1-2 0-1 0 1 1
Kemp, Jr 21 4-9 1-1 1-4 0 3 9
200 19-64 11-16 14-36 10 20 53
Percentages: FG .297, FT .688. Three-point goals: 4-17, .235 (Suggs 2-6, Simmons 1-2, Wilcox 1-6, Andrews 0-1, Gaddy 0-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Wilcox, Simmons, Kemp, Jr.). Turnovers: 13 (Andrews 3, Simmons 3, Suggs 2, Gaddy 2, Jarreau, Wilcox, Kemp, Jr.). Steals: 8 (Simmons 3, Suggs 2, Gaddy, Jarreau, Andrews). Technical fouls: N'Diaye.
UCONN 61
min fgm-a ftm-a or-t a pf pts
Daniels 35 4-9 0-0 0-5 1 4 9
Olander 17 1-3 2-2 1-2 0 2 4
Boatright 32 5-11 2-4 0-2 3 3 12
Napier 36 3-10 6-8 0-8 4 2 13
Calhoun 29 6-10 2-4 0-1 2 0 14
Nolan 6 0-0 3-4 0-0 0 1 3
Wolf 17 1-2 0-1 2-9 0 1 2
Giffey 13 0-0 0-0 1-3 2 1 0
Evans 15 2-2 0-2 0-1 1 2 4
200 22-47 15-25 7-40 13 16 61
Percentages: FG .468, FT .600. Three-point goals: 2-14, .143 (Daniels 1-2, Napier 1-6, Boatright 0-2, Calhoun 0-4). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 4 (Wolf 2, Daniels, Olander). Turnovers: 17 (Napier 7, Boatright 2, Calhoun 2, Wolf 2, Daniels 2, Nolan, Evans). Steals: 6 (Napier 3, Evans 2, Wolf). Technical fouls: None.
Washington 26 27 53
UConn 31 30 61

Attendance: 12,720. Officials: Michael Stephens, Brian O'Connell, Mike Roberts.


FRED BECKHAM / AP
Connecticut's Tyler Olander, left, grabs a rebound in front of UW's Desmond Simmons. UConn outrebounded a team for just the second time.




FRED BECKHAM / AP
UW coach Lorenzo Romar, right, didn't have a lot to be happy about Saturday.




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