Sorry for the lateness of the post, but I had to drive back to Phoenix. And I admit, I stopped at the El Charro Cafe for lunch. If you get the chance, go there.
Obviously, yesterday’s win was big for the Huskies. It leaves them alone in first place, at least till tonight. And it was the first road sweep of the Arizona schools since 2006. How big was it? Well, I wrote to stories.
From my game story …
“The last time we were here, we had the same feeling they have right now,” coach Lorenzo Romar said.
The last time the Huskies were in Tucson, Derrick Williams blocked Darnell Gant’s shot with seconds remaining to secure an 87-86 win for the Wildcats.
“That’s just crazy,” Romar said.
Crazy, coincidental, karmic, poetic – any of those words will work. Terrence Ross added one more.
“It’s really ironic because that’s how we lost last year,” said Ross, who finished with 16 points, including two big shots late in the game. “It was heartbreaking the way we lost last year. It makes it that much better this year.”
Say what you want about Wroten – and many people have – but he isn’t afraid of “the moment.”
When he saw that Turner had gotten around Ross and was going to the basket, he didn’t hesitate.
“At that time, I wasn’t thinking about anything,” said Wroten, who had a team-high 17 points and five rebounds. “There was five seconds left and I was trying to stop him from scoring and get the block. He didn’t see me coming.
“I’ve never won a game with a block. Most of my game-winners were on offense. This is definitely a classic. I will remember it forever.”
“This crowd was super loud,” Wroten said. “We shut the crowd down for most of the game.”
The boisterous student section known as the ’Zona Zoo and the rest of the fans were into the game. But Washington controlled things early, keeping the craziness to a minimum.
When Arizona cut the Huskies’ 10-point lead to three, however, the place was deafening.
“It got so loud I couldn’t hear myself think or breathe,” Wroten said. “This was the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Some of the players reveled in the craziness
“I love playing here,” said C.J. Wilcox, who scored 15 points. “It was just a great experience.”
Others liked it a little better this time.
“I like it now that we end it on a win,” said Terrence Ross, remembering last season’s 87-86 loss in Tucson. “At first, I didn’t like it at all.”
The Arizona Daily Star had a ton of coverage of yesterday’s game.
From Bruce Pascoe’s game story …
It was nearly a year ago that Derrick Williams blocked a shot by Darnell Gant just before the buzzer to preserve UA’s 87-86 win in the first “White Out” game held at McKale, when fans were asked to wear white and nearly all of them did.
This time, the man in a black uniform, Wroten, emerged to help the Huskies overcome a career-high 28-point effort from Solomon Hill, who had hit a three-pointer to tie the game with eight seconds left.
Hill’s three left the Huskies with a quick chance to win the game or leave it headed to overtime, but Washington never needed to run a play. Just after Washington began moving up-court, Turner was called for blocking C.J. Wilcox with 5 seconds to go, and Wilcox hit two subsequent free throws that became game-winners.
“The ref saw something,” Hill said. “It sucks that they called something with that little time left on the clock but they called it.”
It was the foul the Wildcats did not want, against the guy they did not want at the line. Wilcox entered the game as a 91 percent shooter from the line and, having missed a one-on-one with 22 seconds to go to leave the Wildcats a window to tie or win the game, it was hardly a surprise that he made both this time.