UW unable to step up in crunch

Down 10 with four minutes left, UW's youngsters brought the Huskies back from the grave on the road, but the veterans couldn't get them out of the hole they dug themselves as Washington lost to Texas A&M 63-62 Saturday in College Station, Tex., preserving the Aggies' 57-game non-conference home winning streak.

The No. 22 Huskies (6-3) used contributions by Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Venoy Overton to cut a 61-51 TAMU lead down to 63-62 after two Gaddy free throws. They had to rely on youngsters because co-captain Justin Holiday fouled out with 3:52 remaining in the game, and the other captain, Isaiah Thomas, had been equally ineffective in leading the team in hostile territory. Holiday had picked up his fourth foul just 2:29 into the second half, and finished his game with four points and two rebounds.

With Gaddy's made free throws, Washington quickly went into zone and forced an Aggies miss from three. With 34.8 seconds left in the game, UW had a chance to go ahead, but an open Wilcox three couldn't find the bottom of the bucket, and the ball went out of bounds off UW's Darnell Gant. The senior forward had three points and two rebounds in 26 minutes' work.

Thomas was able to steal the ball from TAMU's Nathan Walkup with seconds remaining on the clock, but wasn't able to find anyone open and had to try and hit a desperation three as time was winding down. It was blocked by the Aggies' David Loubeau, and that was the game.

Thomas led the Huskies in scoring with 13, followed by the 10 of Gaddy. They were the only ones to score in double figures. Texas A&M (9-1) was paced by forward Khris Middleton, who had 17 points. Forward Loubeau added 15 for the Aggies, and Walkup chipped in with 10 points.

Washington had their worst shooting day of the young season, and their 6-22 effort from three was second-worst to the 3-13 day they had in their 74-67 loss to Kentucky in the second game of the Maui Invitational. Ironically enough, they were perfect from the free throw line (16-16), the most ever made in the history of UW basketball when they have been perfect from the stripe.

The real tale of the tape, however, was in the other statistics - namely rebounds and assist/turnover ratio. That's where the Huskies got killed. They were out-boarded 35-28 and for good measure they threw the ball away 20 times - the most this season by 25 percent.

After a rough start, Washington settled down and actually led at halftime, due mostly to a 7-1 finishing run - four points via Thomas free throws and a Wilcox three. But TAMU came out of the gate in the second half, determined to show their guests that they were ready to do whatever it took to keep their streak intact. Down 32-29, the Aggies used scoring from Loubeau, Middleton and Walkup to roar out to a 35-32 lead, prompting a UW time out from head coach Lorenzo Romar.

They were able to extend their lead with those three scorers, as well as guard B.J. Holmes, to where TAMU had a 10 point lead with five minutes remaining. It was at that point the Huskies buckled down to make things exciting.
Points: Thomas 13, Gaddy 10, Wilcox 9, Bryan-Amaning 8, Overton 7, Holiday 4, Ross 4, Gant 3, N'Diaye 2, Suggs 2
Rebounds: N'Diaye 7, Bryan-Amaning 4, Wilcox 4, Gaddy 3, Overton 3, Gant 2, Holiday 2, Ross 2, Suggs 1
Assists: Thomas 2, Gaddy 2, Suggs 2, Gant 1, Holiday 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Overton 1, Wilcox 1
Steals: Holiday 2, Bryan-Amaning 2, N'Diaye 1, Thomas 1, Suggs 1, Wilcox 1, Ross 1
Blocks: Gaddy 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Overton 1

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