The No. 22 Washington men’s basketball team was in it all night long, but never could quite get over the hump in a 83-76 loss to No. 9 Gonzaga.
The UW cut the lead to four multiple times in the second half, a few times to three, and once, briefly late, to two. But every time, Gonzaga had an answer, until the clock ran out.
Gonzaga’s Joel Ayayi knocked down an NBA-range three-pointer with 24 seconds to go to put the game out of reach late.
Freshman Isaiah Stewart led the Huskies with 21 points in the loss. Jaden McDaniels and Nahziah Carter both added 15, and Quade Green had 14.
Washington turned the ball over 19 times as a team.
The Huskies (7-2) didn’t play their cleanest first half, but managed to keep it close at the break. They finished the first half with 12 turnovers, and the Bulldogs (10-1) turned those mistakes into 12 points.
The UW also had a hard time stopping Gonzaga, as it shot 47.4% from the field, but made just three of its 12 three-point attempts. The Huskies stayed in the game because of their shooting, going 15-of-28 from the floor and knocking down four shots from distance. Led by five-star freshmen Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, they exited the locker room for the second half with just a four-point deficit.
Stewart had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting with five rebounds, and McDaniels had nine points on the same percentage. The freshmen were the only Washington starters who had a positive plus-minus at the break.
The second half continued with more back-and-forth action, as the teams traded blows and Gonzaga kept a four-point lead through much of the front half of the second frame.
However, finally the Huskies brought the deficit down to just two after McDaniels hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to bring the Hec Ed crowd to its feet. Back-to-back three-pointers by Carter made the game even more interesting late, but clutch shooting from the Bulldogs ultimately made the difference in Washington’s first home loss of the season.
The Huskies get some time off before taking on Seattle U on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. back at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Reach Sports Editor Alec Dietz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @AlecDietz
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