Winthrop came into tonight’s game on 5 days rest while running an 11-man lineup. Washington played 3 games in 72 hours just a few days ago. It certainly looked like it as the Huskies were unable to put up much of a fight in a disappointing 82-74 loss against the Eagles. Washington shot the ball well from both 3-point range (41%) and the free throw line (93%) but gave away too many possessions to be able to keep up. The Dawgs fall to 4-4 on the season despite not yet playing a power conference squad.
The Huskies had 4 turnovers in the first 5 minutes which led to 8 Winthrop points to help jumpstart their offense. The Eagles got out to a quick 7-0 lead as their center DJ Burns scored or assisted on each of their first 4 baskets. Daejon Davis and Emmitt Matthews Jr. each hit an early 3 for the Huskies to keep them from getting blown out early and keep the margin a 12-8 deficit.
The turnovers continued to mount though as the refs let both sides play. Winthrop didn’t get called for their first foul until 9 minutes into the game. The only Husky foul in the first 9 minutes was Nate Roberts being called for an offensive foul backing down a smaller player and knocking them over.
Terrell Brown Jr. finally made his first basket of the game with 11:24 left in the first half but Winthrop answered with a quick 5 points in less than a minute to extend things out to a 19-10 Eagles advantage. The hot shooting start from deep continued for the Dawgs though. If you count a Terrell Brown Jr. old fashioned 3-point play, the next 6 Husky baskets were 3-point makes with 2 by Davis and 1 each by Fuller, Matthews, and Bey. The last of those by Bey gave Washington their first lead at 28-27 with 2:47 left. The offensive spacing definitely improved as the Dawgs went almost exclusively with the undersized Matthews at center lineup during that stretch.
Washington couldn’t keep up their momentum though through the rest of the half. PJ Fuller managed UW’s just 2nd and 3rd free throws getting fouled in transition but it was an 8-2 run by Winthrop to close out the half. On the final UW defensive possession the Huskies tried to trap to disrupt the Winthrop offense but they got out of it and found their best shooter for a wide open 3 which he knocked down.
The Dawgs were 7/14 from deep in the first half but 10 turnovers and an 18-14 rebound deficit gave Winthrop 8 extra shot attempts to ensure they held a 35-30 halftime advantage. Daejon Davis led the Dawgs with 9 points on a trio of 3’s while Matthews had 8 with a pair of his own. Winthrop’s DJ Burns repeatedly killed Washington inside with his soft touch and had 12 points and 3 rebounds at the break.
Washington came out from halftime and showed no indication that they were going to stop turning over the ball. Jamal Bey tried to throw it ahead to Nate Roberts but he has never shown the hands to catch a ball and lay it in on a full sprint and it bounced off his hands out of bounds. Another missed opportunity came as it appeared Emmitt Matthews had an alley-oop dunk from Terrell Brown but didn’t get up high enough and got stuffed by the rim resulting in a turnover. Daejon Davis with a layup and a nice pass for a layup to Matthews kept the Huskies in touch as UW trailed 42-34 with 16 minutes left in the game.
Terrell Brown Jr. drove and didn’t get a foul called and then to add insult to injury picked up a technical arguing the lack of a call. Fortunately the ball didn’t lie as Winthrop missed both free throws then turned the ball over. After a Husky steal Langston Wilson had a chance for a highlight reel transition dunk but it somehow didn’t go in the basket. PJ Fuller prevented the transition 3 from Winthrop with a nice block in the corner.
Wilson was unable to make an impact on either end of the floor as DJ Burns continued to abuse the Huskies inside every time he got a low post touch. Terrell Brown Jr. managed to convert another and-1 layup for a 3-point play which brought the Huskies within 7. Patrick Good, Winthrop’s elite shooter, hit a tough double clutch long 2 and then a transition 3 for a quick 5-0 run though that gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the game at 12.
As they have at such times this season Washington turned to their full-court press but Winthrop was continually able to navigate it and get 2v1 baskets on the other end. Washington managed to get a few scores in return but they were constantly negated by the ease of the press break and the lead remained around 10 points for the next 5 minutes.
With 7:04 remaining Jamal Bey got Washington’s first offensive rebound of the game and got fouled to move into the double bonus and Bey made both to close within 63-55. Jackson Grant came back in at center and DJ Burns tipped the ball up twice while at Grant’s back and won another second chance leading to a Winthrop basket.
Daejon Davis hit a 3 which brought the Huskies back within 8 points again with just over 4 minutes but after a stop Terrell Brown Jr. drove recklessly into the lane and had it stripped. PJ Fuller nailed a corner 3 with about a minute and a half left and after a turnover it looked like Washington had another corner 3 but Jamal Bey was called for a charge despite kicking it out and that ended any shot at a miracle comeback.
The Huskies were led in scoring by Daejon Davis who had 21 points and 4 assists in his best offensive game since joining Washington. Unfortunately it was a bad time for backcourt mate Terrell Brown Jr. to have an off night as he finished 7/16 from the floor with 4 turnovers but had 6 points in the final minute in garbage time. Winthrop ended up with a 40-27 rebound advantage against a team that came into the game 345th nationally in average height and 354th in offensive rebound rate to result in 8 extra field goal chances. DJ Burns finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds to lead all players in both categories.
Washington enters the meat of its schedule now with its next 3 games against Arizona, UCLA, and Gonzaga. If the Huskies in 2 weeks are anything other than 4-7 then it can be considered a minor miracle.