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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats bounce back against Huskies

Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona meets Washington University in an NCAA mens basketball game at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 10, 2010. Arizona went on to win 87-70.
Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona meets Washington University in an NCAA men’s basketball game at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 10, 2010. Arizona went on to win 87-70.

Once, Arizona head coach Sean Miller told guard Momo Jones to run a set play. Once, point guard Nic Wise screamed for Jones to slow down.

Twice, Jones drove hard to the hole, despite Wise and Miller’s directions, and scored after drawing fouls. That toughness earned the learning point guard a career-high 13 points but also a trip to the locker room after he took a hit from Washington’s Isaiah Thomas on a charging foul, causing blood to stream down the side of Jones’ face as he walked to the bench.

It also gave Arizona (8-8, 2-2 Pacific 10 Conference) the energy to rebuild a lead it had lost coming out of the halftime break in a 87-70 victory over the No. 24 Washington Huskies.

“”Momo, he owes us a couple and tonight he paid back,”” Miller said. “”Momo’s confidence is there. The shots that he took were good ones.

“”You take good shots, your percentage rises,”” he added. “”You hunt shots … your percentage can really stick out like a sore thumb.””

The Wildcats saw six of their players score in double-digits, a season high, and three players go for career highs.

Forward Jamelle Horne was one of those players, leading Arizona with 22 points while also recording two steals and six rebounds. Horne connected on three 3-point field goals within the first 10 minutes of the game. He had 12 points in the first half, all of which came by way of hot 3-point shooting.

“”It’s huge,”” UA guard Kyle Fogg said of Horne’s contributions. “”After he hit the first one, I think the team did a great job of really just looking for him on the break and giving him the ball.””

Kevin Parrom, whom Miller said he was most impressed with, also had a career high with 10 points in 24 minutes played.

He also helped Arizona control the glass, recording seven rebounds in Arizona’s most impressive rebounding effort of the year. The Wildcats won the rebounding margin against the Huskies 40-23.

“”Everyone knows it, it’s not a secret,”” Horne said. “”We’re not the biggest team out there. Tonight, we boarded like men. Our guards are rebounding as well as our bigs.””

Also helping Arizona was their defense, which struggled against Washington State two days prior.

Washington’s leading scorers, forward Quincy Pondexter and guard Isaiah Thomas, averaged 20.4 and 18.3 points, respectively, coming into Sunday’s game.

But against Arizona, neither scored a single point in the first half. Pondexter ended the game with seven while Thomas woke up in the second half to finish with 18.

“”Isaiah and Quincy are the engine to their team,”” Horne said. “”They’re going to make good shots. We just wanted them to earn them.””

In the first half, Washington (10-5, 1-3 Pac-10) was instead led by forward Elston Turner, who scored 12 by the game’s end. As Arizona built a 27-14 lead by the 5:40 mark in the first half, Turner had scored 11—all but the first three Husky points of the game.

The Wildcats went into halftime with a 37-27 advantage but the Huskies, sparked by Thomas, scored eight straight to begin the second half.

But after a Miller timeout, Arizona found its stride once again.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 52-41 lead after Jones, in to spell Wise, drove to the hoop and scored an And 1 despite Miller calling for Jones to run a set play. By the 10-minute mark in the half, the lead had increased to 19 points.

That lead was never extinguished.

“”Overall our best team effort of the year,”” Miller said. “”You see six players in double figures, it really talks about a team playing together, sharing the ball. I also thought we defended them well.””

Miller said he sees the team as being where he expected them to be at this point in the season: a work in progress.

“”You can make the case, we could be as easily 10-6,”” Miller said, “”and I can also make the case we could be 6-10.””

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