COLLEGE STATION, Texas – There wasn’t much time for anything except a desperate shot as the clock ticked away.
Isaiah Thomas nearly stole a victory away from Texas A&M today when he swiped the ball away from Nathan Walkup in the final seconds. No. 21 Washington trailed by a point and the Huskies were out of timeouts.
Thomas scanned his options before pulling up for a three-pointer near the top of the arc. His attempt, however, never reached the rim as 6-foot-8 Aggies forward David Loubeau rejected the shot.
Washington lost, 63-62, dropping its first game this season inside an opponent’s arena.
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Thomas led UW in scoring with 13 points.
The tempo was plodding and methodical. It was definitely not Washington had envisioned.
The Huskies brought the most prolific scoring offense in the nation, averaging 95.5 points per game, into Reed Arena and the Aggies forced them to play a half-court oriented game in front of an ESPN2 audience.
Texas A&M’s defensive pressure unnerved Washington, but the Huskies were also undone by a turnovers, foul trouble and poor rebounding. The miscues were too much to overcome.
The Huskies fell to 6-3. UW lost two games last month at the Maui Invitational.
Khris Middelton scored a game-high 18 points for A&M, which improved to 9-1.
Washington scored at least 94 points in its last three games at Edmundson Pavilion, but A&M held the Huskies to 37.2 shooting, including 6 of 22 on three-pointers.
No team led by more than six points in a seesaw first half that included six lead changes, tough defense and long scoring droughts. The Huskies were saddled with foul problems, (Justin) Holiday and (Scott) Suggs each had three in the first half and played limited minutes.
Without Holiday, who had scored 20 points in each of the two previous games, UW spread the scoring between Thomas, Gaddy and (Darnell) Gant.
The Huskies return to Seattle to face San Francisco on Saturday and Nevada on Dec. 22 before beginning the Pac-10 season in Los Angeles.