The Washington Huskies suffered their first loss of the conference season with a resounding 99-67 defeat by the Arizona Wildcats at the McKale Center in Tuscon. The Huskies fell to 3-1 (11-5 overall) in the conference while the Wildcats improved to 2-2 (14-3 overall).
The Wildcats were without their leading scorer, Allonzo Trier (broken hand), and desperate for a W after two losses to the Los Angeles schools. Trier's absence did not matter as the Wildcats easily handled the Dawgs in the paint and the Huskies’ inability to keep up with the Cats in points left them in the dust.
Ryan Anderson proved to be a thorn underneath as the Huskies had problems with the BC transfer. Anderson had an early 6 points before the first TV timeout as he was having his way with most Huskies trying to put a body on him.
The Huskies switched to a 2-3 zone, which proved to be much more effective against the Arizona bigs. The Huskies seemed to keep up with the Wildcats as they were able to force turnovers and knock down shots.
Notably, Marquese Chriss hit a 3 in the first half snapping a personal 0-10 slump. The Huskies were 4-7 from beyond the arc in the first. However, they went ice cold in the second.
Fouls once again really hurt the Dawgs. Noah Dickerson had 3 by halftime, Andrews had 4 fouls early in the second half and Chriss was disqualified yet again.
The other bugaboo for the young pups: turnovers. Early on Dejounte Murray once again seemed to be playing a little too fast. In one instance in the first half, he stole the ball but seemed to throw the ball to himself causing a turnover. David Crisp threw a ball out of bounds on a simple pass without any defense. The Huskies ended the game with 15 turnovers.
Despite some of their issues, the Huskies kept pace with Arizona. Crisp gave the Huskies the lead at the 2:30 mark with a 3. The Dawgs extended the lead to three with a Matisse Thybulle layup to lead 39-36, causing an AZ timeout.
Arizona responded with a 6-0 run to retake the lead at 42-39. The Wildcats took a 44-41 lead into the break. Chriss led the Huskies with 11 points while Anderson led the Cats with 15 points. Notably, the Huskies shot 51.5% from the field. However, they were outrebounded 21-14 and had 12 fouls to Arizona’s 8.
The second half proved to be a different story.
Arizona came out on a 12-4 run sparked by a couple of 3-pointers by Gabe York and Kadeem Allen. Arizona ramped up their defense, and the Huskies could not buy a bucket. The Dawgs found themselves down 11 before the mandatory TV timeout. Romar called one of his own with 15:07 in the second half.
The game didn’t get any better from there as the Wildcats extended the lead to 61-47 when Andrew Andrews was called for his 4th foul on a certified flop by Parker Jackson-Cartwright.
The second half of the second half amounted to a drive, draw, and dunk (or 3 point) show for the Wildcats. The lead swelled to 35 at one point in the second half as the Wildcats scored in every way they wanted while the Huskies could not find the basket until the game was out of hand. Noah Dickerson had some good post moves after the fact and led the Dawgs with 17 points.
On the other end, the Wildcats were led by Anderson’s 21 points. The Cats had 5 players in double figures for the game.
On to the dots…
-Andrews, the Pac 12's leading scorer, only scored 9 points (3-11 FG) on a tough night for the senior. He went down clutching his ankle after stepping on Marquese Chriss’s foot at the 4:32 mark of the first half. Fortunately, it was not bad as it looked.
-FS1's Casey Jacobsen brought up one of the more interesting stats during "filler" time. The Huskies have the worst FG percentage in the Pac 12 but are the highest scoring team in the conference. Wow.
-The Huskies 51.5% shooting dropped to 40% after the terrible second half.
-We've been seeing this more over the past couple games but Dominic Green saw some relevant time during the first half of the game. It appears that he has taken away the time for Donaven Dorsey.
-While it did not really matter, the Wildcats had 28 free throw attempts to 11 for UW.
-Marquese Chriss was on the unfortunate end of another poster.
-It's still just one game and the Huskies have a chance for a split against Arizona State on Saturday.