Marquette edges Washington 79-77 on late three-pointer
Washington showed promise and growth in playing its best game of the young basketball season, but the Huskies will need to dig deep to find...
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NEW YORK — Washington showed promise and growth in playing its best game of the young basketball season, but the Huskies will need to dig deep to find the positives after a crushing loss.
What looked to be a winning basket with 15.6 seconds left became nothing more than a precursor to a three-point dagger from the right corner, a basket by Jae Crowder with 6.3 seconds left to lift No. 11 Marquette past Washington 79-77 in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday in front of 8,231 at Madison Square Garden.
The Huskies (4-3) were left lamenting a disparity in free-throw shooting (Marquette was 19 of 27; UW 5 of 10), 16 turnovers, poor transition defense and, in the end, a busted defensive assignment that allowed Crowder an open shot for the winner.
"It was a back-breaker," Husky senior forward Darnell Gant said. "I felt our guys did a good job of playing defense down the stretch and I felt we were getting stops. We got the basket that we needed. I felt that last shot, our defensive awareness wasn't up to par.
"I put that on myself. We're supposed to switch on ball screens. We did a bad job of communicating and the guy got open for a three."
Husky coach Lorenzo Romar had his own lament, which was second-guessing whether he should have called a timeout after Crowder's basket. He didn't, and Abdul Gaddy's leaning, off-balance shot from 17 feet away was not close at the buzzer.
"In retrospect, I would have liked to (call a timeout)," Romar said. "We didn't finish the game, and that's unfortunate."
Marquette is 8-0 for the first time since 2006-07, and got there behind the offensive effort of guard Darius Johnson-Odom (23 points) and Crowder, who finished with 18 points. Marquette starting center Chris Otule was limited to two minutes after injuring his knee.
Terrence Ross, who muscled a shot up from 10 feet to give Washington a 77-76 lead with 15.6 seconds left, led Washington with 19 points. C.J.Wilcox added 15, Gant had 14, Tony Wroten scored 13 and Aziz N'Diaye helped Washington hold a 46-32 rebounding edge with 13 boards.
"We didn't finish the game the right way," Wilcox said. "It was kind of panic, everyone was trying to deny their man and we got switched up on the corner and he got an open look."
The game was see-saw throughout, with Washington taking an early nine-point lead but Marquette led 37-34 at the half.
Washington's length and size gave the Golden Eagles troubles in spurts, but Marquette was also able to counter with dribble penetration to the basket and quick counter-punch baskets.
The biggest lead in the second half was four points, and there were 19 lead changes, including three in the last 31.2 seconds, beginning with a free throw by Johnson-Odom.
"I thought we were very physical. We played a physical brand of basketball," Romar said. "We didn't get back in transition several times. That might have been the difference in the game. You could look at the difference in the free-throw shooting, but Marquette does that every game. That's kind of what they do.
"Our inability to get back in transition, I thought, was the difference in the game."
In an event created to benefit and honor the memory of former college coach Jim Valvano, who succumbed to cancer in 1993, Washington used the occasion to honor one of its own.
The Huskies wore a patch with the initials "AM" in remembrance of former walk-on Andrew Moritz, who played from 1996 to 1999 and lost his battle with cancer (a rare sarcoma, desmoplastic round cell) Nov. 26.
Washington will stay in New York to face Duke on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Carquest Auto Parts Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Attendance: 8,231. Officials: Tim Clougherty, Joe Lindsay, Ray Natili.
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