From the press release ….
PARIS-LEVALLOIS — Washington put together the most complete game during its foreign tour so far on Monday night against Paris-Levallois, but the host team rallied in the fourth quarter to escape with an 88-76 win.
The Huskies led 69-65 with seven minutes to play against the top-tier pro team located on the west side of Paris, but an 11-0 run by Paris-Levallois midway through the final period spelled doom for the Huskies.
Guard Louis Labeyrie scored 8 of his team’s 11 points during their decisive run that gave them a 76-69 lead with 3:16 remaining and the Huskies never drew closer than seven points after that. In all, the Huskies were outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter.
Jawad Williams buried a three with five seconds remaining to give Paris-Levallois the 12-point win. It was the only double-digit lead by either team during the night.
“You want to win, but I thought we played really well tonight,” Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar said after his team fell to 2-3 on their foreign tour. “The whole idea of this trip is to make progress and get better. I thought we played good defense, made good shots and ran our offense well.”
The Huskies shot 43% from the field on 26-of-60 shooting and were 6-of-16 (38%) from 3-point range, led by Abdul Gaddy’s 7-of-12 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Gaddy led Washington with 19 points, but also had 10 turnovers – seven in the first half – before fouling out late in the game.
Scott Suggs and C.J. Wilcox each chipped in 13 points to tie for second most points among Huskies. Suggs also had six rebounds and a game-high five steals.
“That team we played tonight was outstanding, yet we had every chance to win it,” Romar said about Paris-Levallois, who is favored to win its league this season.
“Tonight we needed our guards to take care of the ball better. For Abdul, 10 turnovers are too many. But, aside from that, I thought we did a nice job.”
Williams, a former NBA player and starter for North Carolina, scored nine of his team-high 17 points in the decisive fourth period for Paris-Levallois, while his Tar Heels teammate and former NBA first round draft choice Sean May added 14 points and 10 rebounds. In all, five players for Paris-Levallois scored in double figures.
“Sean May and Jawad Williams – they are former national champs – plus they had some other guys that were really good … I thought we outplayed them for most of the game,” said Romar.
Washington may have outplayed the pros at times, but several lulls in the game cost the Huskies at the end. Besides the fourth quarter drought, the Huskies had trouble taking care of the ball in the second period during stretches. The Huskies carelessness, compounded by Paris-Levallois’ offense heating up, allowed them to turn a 29-23 first quarter deficit into a 47-43 halftime advantage.
Washington came out strong after the break to swing momentum in their favor. Paris-Levallois scored seven of the first nine points of the quarter, but Washington went on a 14-1 run to snag a 57-54 lead with 2:49 left in the period.
Gaddy and Wilcox each scored four points during that stretch to key the offensive run, but it was the defensive end that the Huskies were able to make the biggest difference. UW drew several charges on the defensive end to elicit roars of approval from the Huskies’ bench.
“That is what this trip is for, to give guys a shot and try different combinations,” Romar said. “In these games, we are not substituting like we would in the season. We have been giving the starting nod to the two bigs who have the most rebounds per minute in the previous game.
“We’re just trying to make progress,” Romar said, “and I really think we did that tonight.”
The Huskies are back at it again today when they play Ruell at 8:00 p.m. in Paris.
Martin Breunig started Monday’s game in place of Aziz N’Diaye. It marked the first time Romar varied from his normal starting five of N’Diaye, Desmond Simmons, Gaddy, Suggs and Wilcox. Romar guessed that Breunig and N’Diaye would start on Tuesday based on rebounds per minutes on Monday … Gaddy leads the Huskies with 15.8 points per game through five contests so far. Suggs is second with 13.6, followed by Wilcox with 13.2 … Gaddy is 7-for-11 from 3-point range (63.5%) during the tour. The rest of the team is a combined 20-for-74 (29.3%) … The Huskies have outrebounded their opponent in four of five games. N’Diaye is leading the way with 7.8 per game, followed by Wilcox 6.0 … UW is averaging 11.8 steals per game, but 20.0 turnovers per contest. They have had 10 or more steals in four of five games and 20 or more turnovers in three of five games … The players will have a “Amazing Race”-type contest throughout Paris tomorrow. They will be split up into two groups and have to take group photos at several different location throughout the city. The key to each stop will be that someone random they meet on the street must be in each photo.