Washington gave one of its best efforts of the season, but Arizona withstood a furious first half as it defeated the Huskies 71-62 Saturday at McKale.
Nigel Williams-Goss scores first and Kaleb Tarczewski put Arizona on board with a dunk. A long two and three by C.J. Wilcox then forced Arizona to call timeout down 7-2 with 17:29 left in the first half.
Brandon Ashley and Andrew Andrews exchanged buckets before a dunk by Nick Johnson caused UW to call timeout up 9-6 with 15:33 left.
Desmond Simmons made two free-throws, but Aaron Gordon came back and scored. After a Perris Blackwell bucket, Gordon scored again and Ashley made two free-throws as a shot by Shawn Kemp Jr. gave the Huskies a 15-12 lead.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made two free-throws and had a dunk soon after, but Kemp Jr. got a three-point play to get the two-point lead. Ashley made two more free-throws and Johnson added a two. After a Wilcox three, Johnson scored again and Arizona led 22-21 with 7:57 left.
Johnson scored five consecutive points before Williams-Goss made a shot. Gordon then hit one, but Kemp Jr. made two in a row and a Wilcox layup tied the game at 29. Darin Johnson then came off the bench to give the Huskies the lead with 2:15 left in the half.
Johnson made two free-throws and Blackwell answered with a bucket. Tarczewski also made two from the line, but a floater by Williams-Goss gave the Huskies the 35-33 lead at the half.
Blackwell scored to start the half and McConnell answered. After one free-throw by Johnson, Blackwell scored again and Williams-Goss got a three-point play to put the Huskies up 42-36. Gordon got a three-point play to cut the lead to three, but a shot by Andres extended the UW lead to 44-39 with 15:39 left in regulation.
A three by Gabe York out of a timeout then forced the Huskies to call timeout only seconds later as Arizona tried to get momentum back.
Wilcox and Ashley exchanged hoops before Andrews and Gordon did the same. After a bucket by Wilcox, Tarczewski picked up a three-point play to bring Arizona to within 50-49 with 10:56 left in regulation.
Gordon scored and Blackwell hit two free-throws before Gordon and Johnson got dunks to give the Wildcats a 55-52 lead with 9:12 left.
Wilcox scored to put the Huskies within one and a free-throw by Ashley extended Arizona’s lead to two before a layup by York made it 58-54 with about six minutes left. McConnell proceeded to find Johnson for a layup, but Simmons made one of two free-throws.
A free-throw by Andrews and two by Wilcox cut Arizona’s lead to 60-58 with 3:39 left before Johnson found the open lane for a dunk. An offensive rebound by Gordon gave the Wildcats a 64-58 lead with a little over two minutes left.
Gordon proceeded to make a free-throw, but Blackwell came down and hit a shot with about 1:30 left. Johnson got to the line with 1:12 left and made both to give Arizona a 67-60 lead and seal the victory.