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Brown’s Career Half Can’t Save Huskies Against #4 Arizona in 92-68 Defeat

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The 24-point 1st half from Brown was invalidated by an 81-43 end to the game by Arizona

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Against his former team Terrell Brown Jr. had the eye of the tiger (wildcat?) early and looked like he was set to carry the Dawgs on his shoulders making his first 7 shots in the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately #4 Arizona weathered the storm and commenced a beatdown as they pounded the Huskies on both ends of the court for a 90-68 win over Washington. The loss drops the Dawgs to 13-10 (8-5) as Terrell Brown Jr.’s 29 points weren’t nearly good enough when combined with UW’s despicable defensive effort.

The Huskies looked like they were up to the challenge for the first quarter of the game. Terrell Brown Jr. and Emmitt Matthews Jr. scored the first 18 points of the game for Washington including 12 points in 8 minutes for Brown. The Pac-12’s leading scorer was in his bag of tricks early as he nailed his first 7 shots from the floor. Arizona meanwhile couldn’t find their offensive rhythm and were stymied by the defense and rebounding of Nate Roberts. Another pair of Brown midrange jumpers put the Huskies in complete control with a 25-11 lead with 10:38 remaining in the half.

That’s when the wheels completely fell off for Washington and Arizona started to look once more like a legitimate national title contender. Azuolas Tubelis carved up the Huskies inside with cuts to the basket, post-ups, and put back layups. The Wildcats didn’t quite find their stroke from the outside but they did well enough hitting 5/12 3-point attempts in the first half.

Washington’s offense disintegrated as Arizona committed extra resources into shutting down Terrell Brown Jr. After a pair of early baskets by Emmitt Matthews Jr, the rest of the non-Brown Huskies had 1 combined made field goal (Nate Roberts and-1 layup) over the final 17 minutes of the half. That included a 10 minute streak without a made field goal by anyone on UW as the only way Washington could create offense was to get to the free throw line.

Arizona finished the half on a 34-11 run in order to head into the break up 45-36. Terrell Brown Jr. had a game-high 24 points but no one else could make a shot to help him out. It certainly didn’t help that Washington after getting 18 steals in the first game against Arizona had 0 in the first half as they could never get out in transition to help the offense.

Things didn’t improve in the second half. There was one brief highlight as Terrell Brown Jr. lobbed it up for Emmitt Matthews Jr. who threw it down with a thunderous one handed slam. That basket was the only one though for UW in the first 5 minutes of the half while Arizona ended up with easy basket after easy basket at the rim. Mike Hopkins took a timeout as Arizona started out the 2nd half on an 11-2 run.

Washington at that point clearly had the fight go out of them. Nearly every possession seemed to end either in a dunk or an uncontested layup as the Husky defense looked like it was made out of swiss cheese. The Huskies badly missed Daejon Davis as they were unable to force steals and PJ Fuller badly struggled as a secondary ball handler. Nate Roberts helped prop up the offense during a brief stretch with his offensive rebounding abilities but the Dawgs couldn’t get stops on the other end for it to matter.

Arizona’s rotating line of dunks eventually turned insult into actual injury. Emmitt Matthews Jr. tried to answer with a slam of his own but it was overly ambitious and he banged his wrist on the rim and was forced to leave the game. Washington absolutely can’t afford to be down both him and Davis with the L.A schools coming up next so hopefully he’ll make a speedy recovery.

Terrell Brown Jr. ended up with a game-high 29 points but no other Husky had more than 10 (both Roberts and Matthews). The perimeter trio of Fuller, Bajema, and Bey just couldn’t get anything going combining for 13 points on 4/22 shooting with 5 turnovers. Nate Roberts’ 9 boards actually kept the Huskies almost even in the rebounding battle but after winning the turnovers 21-6 in the first game, UW lost it 12-9 this time around. And half of those Arizona giveaways happened in the last 6 minutes with the game well decided.

Arizona outshot the Huskies 40% to 18% on the 3-point line which keeps alive Washington’s streak of going 0-fer in conference when their opponents shoot at least 40% from deep. The only saving grace for Washington was a +11 advantage in made free throws or else this could’ve truly been a beatdown of epic proportions.

Things don’t get any easier for the Huskies as next week they have to travel to the L.A schools with games against ranked USC and UCLA.