Arizona basketball bounces back with win over Washington

Feb 24, 2024, 2:54 PM

Caleb Love...

Arizona guard Caleb Love reacts after scoring against Washington during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Caleb Love scored 28 points to eclipse 2,000 for his career and No. 4 Arizona bounced back from its first home loss of the season with a 91-75 win over Washington on Saturday.

The Wildcats (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) lost at McKale Center for the first time this year Thursday night, falling 77-74 to No. 21 Washington State.

Arizona shook it off quickly with a short turnaround, blistering the Huskies with a near-perfect start to build a 17-point lead in the opening 7 1/2 minutes in the teams’ final meeting at McKale Center as Pac-12 members.

Arizona’s Oumar Ballo controlled the paint after a quiet first half, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots as the Wildcats turned back every Washington challenge. Arizona is 17-0 under coach Tommy Lloyd following a loss and has gone 99 straight games without losing two straight, the third-longest streak in Pac-12 history.

The Huskies (15-13, 7-10) had a wild night to start their two-game desert swing, beating Arizona State 84-82 in overtime on Thursday night after blowing a 25-point lead.

Washington spent most of the afternoon against Arizona unsuccessfully trying to dig out of the big early hole, getting no closer than nine after falling behind by 23.

Koren Johnson led the Huskies with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Arizona was plagued by bouts of questionable shot selection in the loss to Washington State.

The Wildcats had no such problem early against the Huskies.

Crisply running the offense, Arizona hit its first seven shots and opened 11 of 12 to build a 27-11 lead. Washington fought back after absorbing the early body blow, using a 10-0 run to pull within 42-31.

But Arizona kept hitting shots and even got some help from Washington big man Braxton Meah, who inadvertently tipped the ball into his own basket.

The Wildcats hit 18 of 34 shots in the first half, including 6 of 10 from 3, to lead 52-35.

Arizona went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to go up 61-38, but went cold from the floor as Washington started chipping away.

The Huskies used a 14-2 run to pull within 69-60, holding the Wildcats to 1-of-10 shooting during the rally. Arizona continued to struggle offensively, but turned up the defensive pressure to stretch the lead back out to 16.

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