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Instant Reaction: Huskies Lose to Houston 75-71

Isaiah Stewart and his 25 points were hard for Houston to handle but not enough for the Huskies to win. The rest of the Huskies' offense went cold late in a 75-71 loss to the Cougars in the Diamond Head Classic championship game in Hawaii. Is there cause for concern as the UW blows a 10-point, second-half lead? Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated's Mike Martin gives his instant reaction.
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Instant Reaction

At first glance, with the Huskies shooting 46 percent from the field and holding Houston to 37 percent, it might not seem like a bad night.  However, the Cougars collected 16 offensive rebounds and scored 17 second-chance points to grease the win. Stewart finished two rebounds shy of a double-double but he didn't have one over the final 14:43 of the game.

The Cougars also used the free-throw line to facilitate the comeback.  At one point, the UW's Stewart had nearly twice as many foul shots as the entire Houston team. Over the final 24 seconds, Houston went 6-for-6 at the charity stripe.

Houston took the lead 61-60 with 5:02 remaining in the contest. Stewart did all he could to keep the Huskies in the game, with 7 points over two minutes late in the game, but the Cougars stayed clutch from the free-throw line.

What We Saw

Nahziah Carter and Stewart shot a combined 14-for-22 from the field. The rest of the UW team went 10-for-30.

Stewart was double-teamed much of the night and was still effective against Houston. Yet he uncharacteristically had two close-in shots blocked in the second half.

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The Huskies shot 9-for-22 from 3-point range.  On most nights, 41 percent from beyond the arc would be enough to win, but not when the opponent takes 15 extra shots.

Key Stats

Houston attempted 15 more shots than the Huskies, and the UW committed 15 turnovers.   

The Huskies led for 30 of the game's 40 minutes  They had a 14-point lead in the first half and a 10-point lead in the second half.

Stewart played 34 workmanlike minutes. Washington's bench played only 30 minutes compared to 68 for Houston.  

Houston picked up 17 points off Washington's 15 turnovers while the Huskies gained 9 points off Houston's 7 turnovers.

Where Do They Go From Here?

The Huskies will return to Seattle and take a week off before opening conference play against the UCLA Bruins on Jan. 2 at home.