Stony Brook stuns No. 13 Washington men
Jameel Warney banked in a short runner with 30 seconds left to give Stony Brook its first lead and the Seawolves beat No. 13 Washington 62-57 on Sunday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington @ California, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
The 13th-ranked Huskies were 30 seconds from finishing the 2014 portion of the season flawless and giving coach Lorenzo Romar his best start during a 13-year tenure on Montlake.
But a strange thing happened on the way to a perfect 12-0 nonconference record: the Washington men’s basketball team fell apart in the final six and half minutes of a heartbreaking 62-57 defeat that knocked the Huskies from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“This (loss) came as a total surprise to me,” Romar said.
Many of the 6,970 at Alaska Airlines Arena would agree. Stunned doesn’t begin to describe the emotions felt by the Huskies and their fans.
Washington entered the game as a 13.5-point favorite against a Stony Brook team that had lost all of its games on the road. The Seawolves (8-6) were 0-3 all-time against Pac-12 teams and 0-14 against ranked opponents since joining Division I in 1999-2000.
The Huskies paid $100,000 to Stony Brook to make the cross-country trip from New York — its longest road trip in school history — for a nonconference finale that many believed should have been a UW rout considering the circumstances.
And for a while, it looked as if the game would follow the script.
Despite shooting just 37.8 percent (14 of 37) in the first half, Washington led 35-26 at the break.
Following a 6-0 run by Nigel Williams-Goss that included a fast-break layup, a dunk in transition and a pull-up jumper, the Huskies pushed their lead to 16 points (47-31) with 13:43 left.
And then disaster struck. Or better yet, Stony Brook’s Kameron Mitchell did.
The 6-4 sophomore guard didn’t take a shot in 10 first-half minutes. But in the second half, he crippled the Huskies with four three-pointers from the corners while Stony Brook converted 7 of 9 from behind the arc in the second half.
“Everything that they got was on our mishaps on defense,” junior guard Andrew Andrews said. “Losing our man. Not scrambling enough. … Just miscommunication. We gave a three-point shooter wide-open looks. That was all on us.”
Mitchell, who finished with 12 points, nearly single-handedly pulled the Seawolves back into the game. His final shot chopped UW’s lead to three points (55-52) with 4:05 left.
On the other end, the Huskies couldn’t make shots. Romar noted three fast-break opportunities in which UW players failed to get the ball on the rim. Washington converted 9 of 30 field goals (30 percent) in the second half, which included 0-for-4 shooting on three-pointers. UW also had eight of its 12 turnovers in the second half.
The Huskies scored just two points in the final 6:39 and were outscored 17-2 down the stretch.
“This whole year when we’ve gone on offensive droughts our defense picks us up,” junior co-captain Andrew Andrews said. “We didn’t bring our defense this game.”
Washington’s lead evaporated when Carson Puriefoy drained a three-pointer from the corner with 1:08 left. On the ensuing possession, Williams-Goss lost the ball and Jameel Warney, who scored a game-high 15 points, put Stony Brook ahead with a short jumper at the 30-second mark.
Andrews tried to answer at the other end, but his jumper missed the mark. Rayshaun McGrew (10 points and 14 rebounds) grabbed the rebound and drew a foul. He made both free throws.
Trailing by four, the Huskies missed two shots and came away with no points on the possession after Mike Anderson flubbed two free throws. Stony Brook finished the game with a 10-0 run over the final 3:41.
“You got to play hard for 40 minutes,” Andrews said. “We were playing hard in spurts and it came back and bit us.”
Williams-Goss finished with 10 points and Robert Upshaw had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies, who fell to 11-1.
“We gave up a great opportunity to go undefeated,” Romar said. “It’s unfortunate. (But) this team is not going to go woe is me because we’re 11-1. We could be 1-11. There could be worse situations. We’ve been here 13 years and I think we’ve done this 2 to 3 times. We’ve had a special nonconference. It’s unfortunate. We can’t let this happen again, but we’re not going to let this game make it seem like this season is over and let’s shut down the program.”
Next up: Friday’s Pac-12 opener at California (10-2).
“We’re not going to let one game define our season,” Williams-Goss said. “We just have to prepare and come ready to play at Cal.”