A balanced offensive attack combined with a very strong defensive effort led Arizona
to a blowout victory over Washington
on Wednesday night. Five players reached double figures for the Wildcats and they played much better as a team against UW, especially on the offensive end of the floor.
UA dominated nearly every facet of the game and was in control for the majority of the contest, despite the fact that the Huskies jumped out to an early lead.
The game was competitive for much of the first half, but the Wildcats went on a run before halftime and the momentum carried into the second half as they extended the lead to 22 points with just a little over 12 minutes to play.
Washington had a rough night shooting – especially in the second half – and it allowed Arizona to extend its lead consistently throughout the final 20 minutes of the contest. Thanks to the efforts of several players who were forced to step up due to foul trouble, UA was able to pull off the big victory.
It was a big night for senior Solomon Hill. The forward scored 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting and was a solid 5-for-6 from the charity stripe, but his scoring was just part of the equation. Hill also grabbed six rebounds, dished out a pair of assists, collected two steals and blocked a shot to complete another great overall outing.
Despite fouling out in just 21 minutes of action, senior Mark Lyons was UA's second leading scorer on Wednesday night. The starting point guard scored 14 points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. If you remove the foul trouble from his game, Lyons played efficiently. On top of his scoring output, the senior guard also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and played a much more controlled game against Washington.
The last time Nick Johnson reached double-digits in scoring was on January 31st in Seattle. Five games passed without Johnson scoring 10 points or more, but he was able to get back on track against UW. Johnson finished with 12 points, but also made a big impact in other areas of the game.
The sophomore added five assists, four rebounds and a pair of blocks to his stat line, putting together his best all-around game in weeks. Johnson even ran the point guard position during periods of need and the offense thrived with him running the show.
Freshmen big men Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley were the other two players to hit the 10-point mark. Tarczewski, the starting center, put up 10 points on a very efficient 4-for-6 shooting. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and his effort continues to improve with the experience he is gaining.
Ashley came off the bench for the second straight game and had another strong outing in the process. The Wildcats most productive reserve on Wednesday, Ashley shot 3-for-5 from the floor for 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. He fought foul trouble for much of the game, but he was productive when he was able to remain on the court.
Washington shot a miserable 30.8 percent from the floor on Wednesday, including 26.5 percent in the second half. UW did a good job of taking care of the ball (the Huskies committed just eight turnovers as a team), but Arizona defenders made sure the Huskies were able to take very few uncontested shots.
The Wildcats' defense was especially tough along the perimeter, allowing Washington to connect on just one out of 11 three-point attempts. The Huskies could have made the game more competitive with better outside shooting, but the Wildcats' defense was entirely too smothering for Washington to get too many good looks at the basket.
Inside the arc, UA's defense didn't flinch either. Washington bravely drove to the hoop often throughout the contest and Arizona was apparently ready as its eight blocks as a team would indicate. UW was adamant about going to the basket, but UA defenders simply were not having it.
Arizona defeated Washington on Wednesday. Read on for some news and notes on how the Wildcats got it done.
Notebook: Arizona vs. Washington