(1090 The Fan) — Shabazz Napier scored a game-high 20 points as Connecticut handed Washington an 82-70 defeat in the Alaska Airlines Arena, Sunday.
Connecticut (10-1) head coach Kevin Ollie’s elite backcourt tandem of Napier and Ryan Boatright proved too quick for its Washington counterparts. Boatright added 16 points as the duo combined for 36 points to lead UConn to its 10th win.
Despite the challenge, Washington (6-5) surged to the lead in the first three minutes behind strong interior play and controlled the pace as it built a 31-17 lead against the No. 10-ranked Connecticut squad traveling cross-country for its first true road game of the season.
Though, with 7:03 remaining the tide of the game swung for good.
Over the next 16:02 of game play, Connecticut rallied with a 28-point swing to stake a comfortable 62-48 lead. UConn utilized a more energetic defensive effort and got key contributions from DeAndre Daniels, Niels Giffey and Boatright as it took a 43-39 halftime lead.
Turnovers, missed opportunities and poor defense once again became the tragic story for Washington as it remains winless in five head-to-head encounters against its Huskies counterpart from the Northeast.
Guard Lasan Kromah provided a quality lift off the bench for UConn with 14 points and five steals and Daniels added 10 points.
In the second 20 minutes, Washington’s defensive weakness showed up against a team as quick as UConn. UConn shot 55 percent from the field and went 22-for-25 from the free-throw line as Washington struggled to stay in front of its quicker foe.
Washington closed to within eight points with just over six minutes remaining, but successive 3-point baskets by Napier and Boatright gave Connecticut the comforting double-digit lead it desired.
C.J. Wilcox scored 19 points to lead Washington. Desmond Simmons, who received his first game action of the season after missing the first 10 games due to injury, scored five points in 11 minutes.
Washington faces two more nonconference tests — versus Mississippi Valley and Hartford — before entering Pac-12 conference play in the New Year.
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)