UW Men's Basketball | Wildcats breach Huskies' defense
Seattle Times staff reporter
TUCSON, Ariz. — Some Huskies fans couldn't catch the start of the Washington-Arizona game Saturday, and were forced instead to watch the Maryland and North Carolina women play into double overtime.
So we'll recap briefly that first 10 minutes or so — a lot of three-pointers by Arizona's Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless and a few dunks by Jordan Hill.
Or pretty much what happened the rest of the way.
Those three players combined for 67 points as the host Wildcats ran over the Huskies 84-69 in front of 14,602 at the McKale Center on Saturday. The loss put an emphatic end to UW's three-game winning streak.
"We played like garbage today," said Washington forward Jon Brockman.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, looked like they were playing with a hoop as big as a garbage can. Just about everything they threw up went in — they hit 28 of 45 for the game (62.2 percent) the best against UW this season. Arizona's 13 three-pointers, in 22 attempts, were also the most against Huskies this season.
"We just didn't play as good defensively as we were playing," said UW coach Lorenzo Romar after the Huskies fell to 12-8 overall and 3-4 Pac-10. Arizona, winners of three in a row and suddenly looking like legit conference contenders again, improved to 14-6 and 4-3.
Bayless, a freshman guard, hit 9 of 11 shots and 5 of 6 three-pointers to finish with 26 points. Budinger, a sophomore forward, hit 8 of 15 overall and 5 of 10 threes to score 25. And Hill, a sophomore forward, hit 5 of 8 to finish with 16.
"It's kind of scary when the shots are falling like that," Budinger said.
Budinger and Bayless each made wide-open threes in the early minutes to set a sorrowful tone for the Huskies.
"Those two, give them any kind of a look and the ball is going to go in," Brockman said. "Any player will tell you, if you get going early, the rest of the night is a breeze."
Romar said the Huskies didn't do a good job of keeping Arizona's guards out of the middle, leading to easy shots.
"We were allowing them to drive by us and draw and kick, and that allowed their shooters to get in a rhythm," Romar said.
The Huskies played most of the final 25 minutes in a 2-3 zone, but that did little good.
Washington's one bright moment came after it rallied from an early eight-point deficit to take its only lead of the game at 17-16 with 12:57 left in the first half.
But the Huskies soon collapsed, in part because of the absence of Brockman, who picked up two early fouls and sat on the bench from the 15:33 mark to the 7:51 mark. The Huskies were down 30-22 when he came back in and never got closer than five.
"I've got to be smarter about how I play," said Brockman, who finished with a team-high 24 points in 27 minutes, the first time in Pac-10 games he has been on the court for fewer than 33. "I can't pick up early fouls like that and sit on the bench."
It was a melancholy déjà vu for Brockman, who played a season-low 17 minutes here last year after getting four fouls.
Still, the Huskies had the ball and a chance to cut the lead to five or six with just over a minute left in the first half. But on consecutive possessions, Justin Dentmon and Joel Smith missed hurried jumpers and Arizona responded with baskets each time to take a 45-32 halftime lead.
"When you take quick, tough shots, a team like that is going to make you pay," said Romar, who said that was something of a turning point.
Washington never got closer than 11 in the second half in losing big here for the second year in a row. Last season, the Huskies fell 84-54.
But the Huskies walked away from this one feeling a little better.
"I didn't think anybody quit or anything like what happened last year," guard Ryan Appleby said. "Everybody played hard the whole game. They just shot the heck out of the ball."
The Huskies return for four in a row at Edmundson Pavilion against all four Pac-10 California schools, beginning Thursday with Stanford. That stretch should determine where this season is headed.
"If we won tonight and had lost the other night [at Arizona State] everybody would be all excited, saying we are going to rule the world," Romar said. "We reversed it, but that doesn't mean we are down. We got a split. We wanted a sweep."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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