Every drop of the Arizona Wildcats successes and struggles from this season collected on the surface this one game, for all to see. The Washington Huskies, as usual, came into a McKale Center to create an instant classic, and on a fitting ending off a blocked shot, they stole a 69-67 victory to drop UA to 14-8, and 5-4 in Pac-12 play.
As anticipated, Tony Wroten Jr. and Josiah Turner went at it, and it was therefore fitting that Wroten blocked Turner in the final second to avoid overtime. The Huskies freshman guard scored a team-high 17 points, added five rebounds and four assists, and came up with the key block.
Meanwhile, Turner continued to show that when he's on the court, he's growing by leaps on bounds. He scored eight and had three rebounds and
had a lot of assists would have had more assists had any Arizona players been able to score in the paint. But then there was the recurring boneheadedness that comes with everything good about the guy.
Turner fouled C.J. Wilcox with five seconds left, the game tied and Washington having to take the ball the length of the floor to score. Two foul shots and a block later, Arizona had another loss to its name.
In the end, it was remarkable Arizona was in the game where they gave up 13 more shot attempts to the Huskies thanks to 15 turnovers -- most in the first half -- and 16 offensive boards. It didn't help that many of Arizona's players didn't show up.
Solomon Hill took the initiative and scored a career-high 28, the final three coming on a three-pointer with nine seconds left that tied the game after the Wildcats had fought back from down 11.
Only five points in the second half were scored by anyone other than Hill or Jesse Perry, and it didn't help that Kevin Parrom was lost after the first half -- he scored seven, grabbed three rebounds and two assists -- to a foot injury. Parrom returned to the bench in the second half with his right foot in a boot.
Washington's size and athleticism was eventually too much for Arizona, who struggled to score in large part because of those two reasons. Kyle Fogg hit two threes in the first half, but finished with seven points and five turnovers.
Perry was inefficient, forcing shots in the paint while surrounded by the towering Aziz N'Diaye, among others. He finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but went 3-for-14 from the field.
That was juxtaposed to Hill's ever-efficient and ultra-aggressive 9-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the foul stripe.
And in the end, the game was a reminder that the Wildcats, with a JUCO transfer starting at center, just shouldn't be expected to beat such a talented Washington team, no matter how young they Huskies are this season.
- Turner isn't showing up much in the box scores, but that doesn't mean he's not growing by the day. His on-ball defense was excellent and he was often in charge of checking Wroten. He also had a come-from-behind block and a sneaky steal. And If the Wildcats had a big man that could finish around the cup, the assist numbers would definitely be more than the donut he put up on Saturday.
- Hill might be the only guy who can be THE GUY on the Wildcats, and he knows it. He scored eight points in the final 2:28 of the game.
- The Wildcats showed well defensively considering their size and athletic deficiencies, holding a very good shooting team in the Huskies to 44 percent from the floor. Wroten was held in check in the first half, scoring five points and overall shooting 5-of-18 from the field. But against long jump shooters in C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross, Arizona committed a Sean Miller sin, allowing them to set their feet on jump shots and three-pointers. The duo went 13-of-22 from the field.
- Nick Johnson continued to struggle on offense. He missed a layup and hasn't found a rhythm within the offense, but he'll keep seeing playing time with solid defense.
- Of course, the loss of Parrom is huge. His insertion into the lineup in the first half gave Arizona a large boost, and it was clear they missed him in the second half.