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Cat Tracks: UA overcomes sloppy start to beat Huskies

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we give you ‘Cat Tracks’, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from Arizona’s January 31 win against Washington. Arizona 57, Washington 53.

The Good:

For the second week in a row, the Wildcats came out sluggish against an upper-echelon Pac-12 foe. But after spotting Washington a 16-5 lead almost nine minutes into the contest, Sean Miller’s squad reeled off an 11-2 run and only trailed by five at halftime.

After halftime, Nick Johnson scored 13 of his team-high 15 points, including three foul shots in the final minute, and UA left Alaska Airlines Arena with its first win in Seattle since January 2007.

The Bad:

In spite of the big road victory, UA was extremely sloppy in the first half. The Wildcats committed 12 of their 17 turnovers over the course of the first 20 minutes, and frankly were fortunate to still be in striking distance.

On top of their 17 turnovers, the Wildcats weren’t exactly spreading the ball around. UA had seven total assists, only four of which came from their backcourt.

And speaking of their backcourt, UA senior guard Mark Lyons continues to struggle at the offensive end. Following his 9-for-27 shooting performance against UCLA and USC last weekend, Lyons put up another unimpressive effort against the Huskies. The transfer from Xavier finished with just 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including an 0-for-4 night from three-point range.


• UA has now won 18 of its first 20 games for the 10th time in program history.

• Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski’s aggression in the post has been on display of late. For the second consecutive contest, Tarczweski had seven attempts from the charity stripe Thursday. On the night, he finished with 10 points (career-high six free throw makes) and eight rebounds.

• While the Huskies have transformed into a formidable foe under Lorenzo Romar, they’ve struggled to beat good teams at home. The last time Washington beat a top 10 team in Seattle was back in 2008 vs. UCLA.

Coming Up Next:

Arizona will head to Pullman on Saturday to face the Washington State Cougars. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:00 p.m. MST.