Another blown big lead.
Another late-game collapse.
Another hot shooter gunning down Washington.
And more of the same mistakes that have plagued UW in perhaps the most disappointing season in Husky men’s basketball history.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, the cycle continued again Thursday and they lost their fourth consecutive game, a 75-72 defeat against Arizona in an outing that resembled so many other setbacks.
At the midpoint of the Pac-12 season, Washington, the reigning conference champion, is 12-10 overall and sitting alone at the bottom of the league standings at 2-7.
Here are three impressions.
Stewart vs. Nnaji showdown never materialized
A dozen NBA front-office personnel sat among the near-sellout crowd of 9,123 at Alaska Airlines Arena to scout the five freshmen on the court who are projected first-round picks in the NBA draft.
Arizona’s Nico Mannion shined brightest, scoring 16 points on 4-for-8 shooting, including three three-pointers. He also had five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
UW’s Jaden McDaniels tallied 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks in 34 minutes.
But the other three headliners were a virtual no-show.
Washington star Isaiah Stewart and Arizona standout Zeke Nnaji battled to a draw in the post, as both players finished with nine points. Stewart won the rebounding battle 12-8, but they didn’t seriously factor in the outcome.
Arizona guard Josh Green had just five points.
UW red-hot from downtown
The Huskies have never shot from the perimeter as well as they did Thursday night when they made 14 of 28 three-pointers.
RaeQuan Battle did most of the damage. The freshman sharpshooter came off the bench and canned 4 of 8 attempts behind the arc for 14 points.
Nahziah Carter drained 3 of 6 three-pointers for 13 points, and Hameir Wright (12 points) and Marcus Tsohonis each had two three-pointers.
At least seven Huskies made a three-pointer, including Jamal Bey, McDaniels and Stewart, who made his third of the season.
Washington entered the game shooting 33.1% from the perimeter, which ranked eighth in the Pac-12.
Good offense can’t overcome bad defense
Simply put, Washington has a small margin for error, especially against good teams such as Arizona.
The Huskies got enough out of their offense to win Thursday. Their 72 points were 10 more than their season average and the most since tallying 85 against Ball State on Dec. 22.
That was 12 games ago.
Washington normally wins when the offense gets going.
During coach Mike Hopkins’ three-year tenure, the Huskies are 42-10 when scoring at least 70 points, and five of those defeats occurred in his first season.
Despite committing 17 turnovers that led to 15 points and McDaniels collecting a technical foul – his fifth of the season – for yelling at an Arizona player after dunking on him, the Huskies still had a 69-64 lead with less than five minutes left.
Even though the offense stalled once again at the end while Arizona went on a decisive 11-3 run, the Huskies lost this game due to the inability of their normally stout defense to get stops and defend without fouling.
Washington, which entered the game ranked second in the Pac-12 while allowing 61.4 points in league games, has given up an average of 75.6 points in the past two games.
The Huskies sent the Wildcats to the free-throw line 23 times, where they made 17. UW was 8 for 11 on free throws.
Washington dared senior forward Stone Gettings to shoot, and he scored a season-high-tying 13 points while connecting on 5 of 9 mid-range jumpers.
The Huskies did a good job of identifying and harassing three-point specialist Dylan Smith, who was 1 for 7 behind the arc.
However, UW allowed Jemarl Baker Jr. (17 points) four three-pointers, including a go-ahead dagger with 44 seconds left, and Mannion (16 points) had three.
This season Washington is 10-3 when scoring at least 70 points, which might suggest the Huskies thrive in high-scoring games.
But UW is also 1-5 when allowing at least 75 points.