The Lowdown: This rivalry has been as hot as any other
in the nation during the last three meetings between the two teams.
The first half was a spitting image of that rivalry as the Wildcats and
Huskies battled to a near draw with the home team up 39-37.
Behind a flurry from Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten, Washington
came out strong in the second half to increase their lead to six
points in the first two minutes. Both teams traded baskets over the
next eight minutes until Arizona went cold from the field not
making a field goal for nearly five minutes. The Huskies capitalized
on that taking a 10-point lead.
A last minute flurry by Nick Johnson made the score closer than the
final tally indicated getting 10 points in the final six minutes
including two big threes. In the end though, it was not another
photo finish or instant classic we all have been accustomed to
seeing as the Huskies took this one 79-70.
What went wrong for Arizona? The ‘Cats were dominated
on the perimeter. Ross and Wroten combined for 47 points and
were able to get wherever they wanted to go throughout the game.
On a normal night, the Wildcats could hang their hats on solid
perimeter defense and that was not the case on Saturday.
When it was over? Down 11 with 4:09 to go, Jesse Perry
stepped to the free-throw line and went 1-2. The team did not
score for the next 2:35 when they needed a basket the most.
Who stepped up for Arizona? Early in the game Kyle Fogg
came out like he took the last loss personally, scoring and
defending with passion. That fizzled out and Nick Johnson was left
trying to shoot the team back into the game after it was over.
Who needed to step up? Perry has grabbed 14 rebounds
over the last three games — an average of less than 5 per game. If
he cannot play big and rebound, this team is not going very far in
either tournament; the Pac-12 or the NCAA.
Stat of the Game: The Wildcats stepped up their game on
the perimeter against a very good three-point shooting Huskies
team, but they forgot to guard Terrence Ross inside the arc. For the
game Ross was 1-8 from behind the arc and 10-10 inside the arc.
They said it: “Really at half time I felt good about how we had
played but as the game wears on against a team like that, they have
a way of wearing you down. And to me they wore us down
physically.” — Arizona head coach Sean Miller.
What it means: The five-game winning streak ends in
convincing fashion as they are routed by Washington. They now fall
to 19-9 (10-5) and are firmly on the tournament bubble.
What’s Next: There are no more games outside of the
state of Arizona now for the Wildcats as they host USC (6-21) on
Thursday and UCLA (15-12) on Saturday before closing the season
at Arizona State.