Washington pulls away in second half to beat Arizona Wildcats

Both the Washington Huskies and Arizona Wildcats were making each other work to score points.

Neither team could hit more than 41.8 percent of their shots, and they combined to shoot only 9-for-39 from three-point range. But in the end, the difference was the Huskies' ability to take Arizona defenders off the dribble and wreak havoc in the lane.

Terrence Ross led the way with 25 points and five steals, Tony Wroten scored 22 of his own and after his left-handed dunk with 8:57 put Washington ahead 62-54, the Wildcats never had the momentum to mount a comeback in Saturday's 79-70 loss to the Huskies in Seattle.

It might've also killed any thought of mounting a comeback this season and landing in the NCAA tournament.

Nick Johnson led the Wildcats with 20 points and four assists, but Arizona lacked the firepower to keep up with the high-flying Huskies, who also got 11 points from C.J. Wilcox.

Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry each scored 13 points, and Hill added 10 boards for Arizona, which shot just 39.3 percent from the floor.

From the jump, the Wildcats struggled to keep the Washington guards and wings in front of them, and that led to their demise.

Down just 39-37 after the first half, Perry tied the game with a quick jumper, but that was the last Arizona would hold even with UW. Wroten answered with a jumper on the next possession, and he and Ross scored three layups in a row to cause UA coach Sean Miller to call a timeout with 17:29 left in the game.

Getting no closer than 55-52 from then on, the Huskies built a cushion as Wilcox got hot late, hitting three jumpers -- two of them threes -- in a little more than three minutes to push UW's advantage to 72-61 with five minutes to play.

And though it was to little fault of their own, the Wildcats just didn't have enough in the tank. Without a big game from anyone other than Johnson on Arizona's end, it was Lorenzo Romar's team's game to lose. Unlike their first meeting, there was no 28-point outburst from Hill. There wasn't a hero scoring 17 points off the bench, just as Brendon Lavender did in Thursday's gutsy win in Pullman.

Point guard Josiah Turner was back looking like his freshman self, going for three points on 1-of-4 shooting while dishing out two assists and having two turnovers.

Washington was the aggressor, and the Wildcats had few answers.

Though both teams worked the offensive glass well, the Huskies got off 11 more shot attempts, which was also thanks to their solid execution that led to just five total turnovers.

Now, the Wildcats are on the outside looking in to the NCAA tournament picture. Washington's worked its way to second in the conference, and in sweeping the Wildcats on the season, have moved in front of Arizona in terms of their resume that was all too similar going into Saturday's game.

So now what? Arizona still has a shot at the NCAA tourney should they roll through the rest of the season and the Pac-12 Tournament. But what hurts is the likelihood that the loss to UW might have been all the selection committee needed to keep the Wildcats home next month.

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