ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Azuolas Tubelis’ late jump shot lifts Arizona over Washington

Feb 27, 2021, 3:17 PM
(Arizona Wildcats' Twitter Photo)...
(Arizona Wildcats' Twitter Photo)
(Arizona Wildcats' Twitter Photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — James Akinjo scored a career-high 26 points with seven assists, his final one a kick-out to Azuolas Tubelis who converted a baseline jumper for a 75-74 victory over Washington on Saturday.

Washington’s Quade Green was called for a charge, and after a timeout by Arizona with 15 seconds left, Akinjo headed into the paint before dishing the ball to Tubelis, who with one foot on the 3-point arc hit the game-winner with 5.2 seconds remaining. Green’s hurried 3-point try at the buzzer was short.

Akinjo, who scored 21, 20 and 19 points in his previous three games, was 5 of 8 from the arc. Tubelis added 16 points and 15 rebounds, Bennedict Mathurin had 10 points and 13 rebounds and Christian Koloko 11 points for the Wildcats (17-8, 11-8 Pac-12), who won their third straight game and swept the season series from Washington (5-20, 4-16), which dropped its third straight in its regular-season finale.

Trailing 33-29 at halftime, Washington had the lead early in the second half before Arizona went up by eight with a 10-0 run. Washington regained the lead on Erik Stevenson’s basket with a 1 1/2 minutes remaining. Akinjo hit a 3-pointer to take back the lead before it reverted to the Huskies on two Green free throws with a minute remaining. The teams swapped possessions before Tubelis sank the winner.

Washington’s Hameir Wright scored a career-18 points with five 3-pointers before fouling out with two minutes left. Green added 17 points, Marcus Tsohonis 13, Stevenson 12 and Jamal Bey 11. The Huskies outshot Arizona by 13% but was outrebounded 41-29, giving up 10 more offensive rebounds which led to Arizona’s 18-3 domination in second-chance points.

Arizona concludes its season at Oregon on Monday. The university announced in December it was self-imposing a postseason ban on the men’s basketball program as a result of a long-running NCAA investigation.

HONORED

At halftime, Arizona inducted former players Ernie McCray (1958-60) and the late Albert “Al” Fleming (1972-76) as the 26th and 27th members of program’s Ring of Honor. McCray, a Tucson native, set 12 school records during his senior season and became the first African-American basketball player to graduate from the university. Fleming, who died in 2003, holds the school record of 53 double-doubles.

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