FROM TUCSON — Here’s our recap box that will publish alongside our story in tomorrow’s newspaper …
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Nick Johnson scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds and had four assists in 36 minutes. He also had a highlight-reel dunk in the first half after stealing the ball from C.J. Wilcox in the open court, and keyed a number of other transition scoring opportunities. Johnson guarded Wilcox closely all game, hounding him each time he caught the ball on the perimeter.
IT WAS OVER WHEN — Trailing 62-58 with 2:40 to play, UW blew a chance to get a big defensive rebound. A few seconds later, Aaron Gordon scored on a tip-in to extend Arizona’s lead to 64-58.
STAT OF THE GAME — Washington committed 15 turnovers, including 10 in the first half, and Arizona turned those mistakes into 20 points.
QUOTABLE — “With so many big bodies, you’re banging the entire time, and like I said earlier, down the stretch we could have just got worn down a little bit physically. I’ll tell you, our guys gave it everything they had. Our guys battled and were physical. I thought our guys were tough. After so long, maybe down the stretch it just got to us there late.” – UW coach Lorenzo Romar
WHAT IT MEANS — UW is making progress. That much was obvious after the Huskies pummeled ArizonaState on Thursday night, and it was obvious again on Saturday after UW matched baskets with the No. 1 team in the country for about 35 or so minutes. UW still lacks size and depth. But Romar seems to have gotten the point across that this Huskies team won’t win without committing to every defensive possession. When they do that, they can be pretty tough.
NEXT UP — Utah at Washington, 8 p.m. Thursday, Pac-12 Networks
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple