HARTFORD, Conn. –With play stopped following a foul call, Scott Suggs practiced his shooting form, looking at the basket and mimicking a follow-through after a jumper.
Seconds earlier, he missed an open 3-pointer that would have cut Washington’s deficit to two points with less than five minutes remaining in Saturday night’s game.
That scenario was all too familiar for UW.
Despite losing to Connecticut, 61-53, the UW Huskies ran their offense reasonably well and got plenty of good shots. The problem was, after a fast start, nothing went in.
It wasn’t the performance UW hoped for in its final non-conference game of the season, played in front of about a dozen NBA scouts.
Early in the game, UW was efficient, making seven of its first nine attempts. Then the UW Huskies missed 19 of their last 22 shots before halftime.
They didn’t show much improvement the rest of the game, shooting a season-low 29.7 percent from the floor, 32.3 percent in the first half and 27.3 percent in the final 20 minutes. Suggs (15 points on 5-of-15 shooting) was the only UW player in double figures.
UW’s 53 points were its fewest since a 68-51 loss at Arizona State on Jan. 8, 2010.
“We were getting a lot of good looks,” UW guard Abdul Gaddy said. “It was surprising we were missing them. It was just a tough break. Our defense had to be that much better if we were missing shots. I thought we played pretty good defense, but they guarded us well and our shots just weren’t going down.”
It didn’t help the Huskies that starters Gaddy and Aziz N’Diaye were in foul trouble for much of the game.
Gaddy played 23 minutes and finished with eight points, three assists and two turnovers before fouling out with 2:23 remaining. N’Diaye was called for a technical foul four minutes into the game, and he was never a factor.
N’Diaye had three first- half fouls but none in the second half, yet Romar chose to have the 7-foot center sit for long stretches in the final 20 minutes. N’Diaye had no points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.
C.J. Wilcox, who was averaging 19.6 points a game, had a season-low five points on 2-for-12 shooting.
UConn guard Omar Calhoun, who scored a team-high 14 points, said the UConn Huskies did a good job switching, double-teaming Wilcox and making sure he couldn’t get the ball in position to shoot. Still, Wilcox blamed himself.
“A couple of those shots, they played good D,” Wilcox said. “But half of them were wide open shots that just weren’t falling.”
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for UW, which opens its Pacific-12 Conference schedule Saturday at Washington State.
Afterward, Romar wasn’t too upset with his team. The shots weren’t falling, but the game could be beneficial in the coming months.
“If we’d have been successful in terms of the score, this could have really helped us, but it’s also our last game in preparation for our conference play,” he said. “Any time you can go to a hostile environment away from where you conduct your business, it’s going to do nothing but prepare you a lot more for your conference.”