Final: It was a classic game of runs, but the Huskies’ final surge never quite caught up with the Wildcats. And afterward, the Huskies blamed lack of effort, especially on the defensive end.
UW falls to 15-5 and 6-2 with a tough one at No. 14 Arizona State on Saturday. Arizona climbs to 13-8 and 3-5.
Here’s my game storty; and some highlights:
Star of the game: Arizona junior guard Nic Wise had a game-high 29 points while also dishing eight assists. He hit all 14 of his free throws and nailed three of seven 3-pointers.
Key stats: Arizona took 51 foul shots and hit 41 of them (80.4 percent). … The Wildcats scored 69 points in the second half, while shooting 62.6 percent from the field over those final 20 minutes. … UW guard Justin Dentmon hit a career-high seven 3-pointers. Freshman Elston Turner tied his career-high with three 3-pointers.
Key play: Washington cut Arizona’s lead to three points with just under two minutes left. On Arizona’s next possession Zane Johnson – who averages 4.4 points – launched a 3-pointer with plenty of time on the shot clock … and nailed it. "When he locked and loaded for that shot I just about had a heart attack," UA junior Chase Budinger said. "I just looked up and said, ‘Uh oh.’ … It turned out to be a huge shot."
Observations: The Huskies gave up their most points since January 1998 when they were scorched for 112 points – also at Arizona. … UW senior Jon Brockman was called for an intentional foul in the final minute when he hit Arizona’s Jamelle Horne, who was driving to the basket. Brockman said he apologized immediately and again after the game, but Onobun wasn’t happy.
Quotable: "We’re a physical team, but once we stated getting fouls on us it made us hesitant so we couldn’t really played with pressure or we’d foul out. You can’t really point any fingers. When all is said and done, we just didn’t come out to play." – UW senior Justin Dentmon.
Next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, at No. 14 Arizona State, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.; FSN.
Halftime: UW, 38-37. And I suspect they’ll take it considering they got off to a very slow start, falling behind 10-2 and not scoring their first field goal until five minutes in.
On the other hand, UW then rallied for a six-point lead, and couldn’t hold it.
UA’s big three of Hill (11 pts), Budinger (10) and Wise (nine) are carrying their load. Brockman leads all scorers with 12, but UW is getting a surprising boost from Elston Turner who knocked down three quick 3’s.
Tipoff: Certainly the smallest crowd I’ve seen in my five seasons here. But this is a down season these home fans aren’t used to. Or this could be a late-arriving crowd, giving the 6:30 (Mountain Time) start.
Huskies going with their usual starting lineup: Brockman, Dentmon, Pondexter, Gant and Thomas.
Pregame: They’ve struck up the band here at McKale Center in Tucson, and the Huskies are out on the court in the road purples.
We’ll run through our normal gameday rituals here: Pregame news if any, in-game updates, and then back here with postgame notes and quotes.
It’s a big one for the newly ranked, league-leading Huskies.
Tipoff is 5:30. The game is on FSN.