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UW Basketball Team Comes Out Flat, Doesn't Win Against Winthrop

The Huskies lead only once against Big South opponent on a 7,000-mile road trip.
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On a wet, miserable Saturday night in Seattle, the University of Washington basketball team never should have left home. 

They were greeted by a near empty Alaska Airlines Arena as their fans knew better.

The Huskies couldn't find much energy anywhere inside their cavernous gym, leaving it somewhere back in South Dakota at their previous stop in the Crossover Classic.

Losing to yet another beatable opponent, the UW came up a 82-74 loser to Winthrop, a Big South team from South Carolina that had far more reason to claim fatigue.

The Eagles (3-3), in concluding a 7,000-mile road trip and a near week-long holiday stay in the Northwest, trailed only once as they otherwise went wire to wire to prevail.

The visitors followed the lead of their 6-foot-9, 275-pound big man D.J. Burns Jr., a soft-shooting left-hander and one-time Tennessee player who led all scorers with 24 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. He was backed by guard Patrick Good, who chipped in 18 points.

For the home team, Stanford transfer Daejon Davis had his best offensive outing with a team-high 21 points for the UW, 15 coming from behind the line on 5 of 8 treys, while teammate Terrell Brown supplied 18 points on a 7-for-16 shooting night. 

"We're still a work in progress obviously," Davis said. "We're still trying to figure out our lineup. Our small lineup does a really good job, but sometimes we're vulnerable to not getting offensive rebounds."

Worse news for the Huskies (4-4), a rebuilt team still with obvious shortcomings, is they now turn to much a higher level of competition after facing eight teams that weren't in that category.

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Beginning next Thursday night, Mike Hopkins' team will face unbeaten Arizona (6-0) in Tucson, followed by a Dec. 5 game at home against UCLA (6-1) and a Dec. 12 matchup with Gonzaga (6-1) in Spokane.

Against Winthrop, the Huskies were in such a foul mood after falling behind right away Brown and Davis were whistled for technical fouls for either saying something to the officiating crew or to a Winthrop opponent.

Hopkins, looking for anyone to provide an early spark, sent little-used newcomers Langston Wilson and Samuel Ariyibi onto the floor late in the first half. Yet after the forwards were a little out of control, they got yanked right back out.

The Huskies tried to press Winthrop periodically after falling behind early and by as many as 12 points, but the traps had minimal success.

They led only at 28-27 when Jamal Bey dropped in a 3-pointer with 2 and a half minutes left in the opening half, but it was short-lived  as they quickly found themselves down 35-30 at the break. 

This UW program is at a such critical juncture for showing vast improvement following last season's 5-21 disaster with mostly different players that Hopkins' job situation becomes more and more tenuous as the losses accumulate.

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