BY SPNW Staff 11:16PM 12/02/2011

21 turnovers sink Huskies in OT loss to Nevada

Soph guard Deonte Burton sliced through a soft UW defense for 31 points, including eight in OT, to deny Huskies a road win before two games against ranked teams.

Tony Wroten had 14 points, but five turnovers and a failure to foul on Nevada's final possession in regulation were costly in Washington's upset loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno Friday night. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest file

It was supposed to be the Huskies’ best chance for a win on a three-game road trip, as well as to get coach Lorenzo Romar to the 200-win milestone in his 10-year Washington tenure.

But the Huskies self-destructed early and late, falling to the Nevada Wolf Pack 76-73 in overtime in Reno Friday night. Now all they have to do is beat either Marquette or Duke in New York’s Madison Square Garden next week to show the Huskies can win on the road.

Washington’s defense had few answers for Deonte Burton, a 6-1 sophomore point guard who scored 31 points, including eight in overtime. Burton hit the game’s biggest shot, a three-pointer with 4.3 seconds left in regulation to tie at 66 and force extra time.

The opportunity came about when freshman Tony Wroten failed to follow orders to foul Burton to deny his three-point attempt, or make him shoot three free throws.

“My intention was to foul him, so it was my fault,” Wroten said.  “I reached in, but they didn’t call it.”

Said Romar: “Under five seconds, we going to foul. We didn’t execute.”

The Huskies (4-2) scored the first four points in OT, then Burton ran off eight in a row to give Nevada (5-3) a 74-71 lead. Terrence Ross, who led Washington with 18 points. closed the gap with a spinning layup, but reserve forward Kevin Panzer hit a jumper with 18.9 seconds left. Darnell Gant’s final attempt was blocked.

It was only the second time that Nevada beat the Huskies in eight meetings. The Wolf Pack lost in Seattle last season, 90-60.

In the first half, Washington showed little offensive organization, making 11 turnovers in the game’s first 11 minutes to fall behind 19-11. Wroten had three turnovers in his first two minutes in the game. But the Huskies rallied behind four three-pointers to take a 29-27 halftime lead.

Shut out in the first half, leading scorer C.J. Wilcox warmed up in the second half, scoring all of his 14 points to provide Washington with a 10-point lead. But more turnovers allowed Nevada, which used a slower pace and a zone defense to deny the Huskies its preferred up-tempo style, to crawl back late.

“We talk in practice about what we do with four minutes left,” Romar said. “We do three things: Get stops, take care of the ball and make free throws. We didn’t do any of those things.”

Ahead 65-63 with 10.7 second left, Gant, a senior, stepped to the line and made the first free throw but missed the second, allowing Nevada to race down and set up Burton for his tying trey.

“We had far too many turnovers,” Romar said. “We did some things that showed progress (a 77-64 defeat at Saint Louis) from last time on road, but not enough.”


YourThoughts

  • Cruddly

    It’s apparent the folks who sponsor the Alamo Bowl wanted to entertain viewers who tune in to the game on Dec 29.  This could turn into a great shoot out if the Huskies hold up their part of the bargain like they didn’t against all the other ranked teams they played this season.  And this is what we don’t want  –  a blowout loss on national television.  
    Hopefully, the Alamo Bowl will get what they wished for, a dazzling display of offense, similar to those old school Holiday Bowls when BYU played teams with equally explosive offenses and with little if any defense.   That basically describes both Baylor and the UW this year, but Baylor has home field advantage, and the Huskies’ offense seems to get discouraged whenever opposing teams slice and dice their defense,  so Baylor 56  UW 35.