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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Fouled Out

Players wait for rebound opportunity
Players wait for rebound opportunity

SEATTLE — All it took was five minutes for foul trouble to bench Arizona’s three big men. And the rest almost fell like dominoes.

Almost. The Wildcats’ short-staffed late second-half push wasn’t enough to overcome the Huskies in a 81-75 loss last night in Seattle.

Arizona’s record fell to 12-10 overall and 6-4 in the Pacific 10 Conference.

“”We came out not ready, not really ready that they were going to attack us like that,”” UA guard Momo Jones said. “”Washington is a good team, they came out and played their game.””

Had last night’s negative variables they endured happened earlier in the season, theWildcats “”could’ve lost by 1,000 (points),”” UA coach Sean Miller said.

Consider the situation:

• Derrick Williams, averaging 15.9 points per game heading into last night, only played eight total minutes due to early foul troubles in the game against Washington.

• Arizona committed 20 turnovers and 30 fouls.

• UA point guard Nic Wise only scored 12 points and committed five turnovers.

Somehow, Arizona still managed to cut its deficit to two points with 9.1 seconds remaining.

With less than one minute remaining, UA guard Kyle Fogg took control and strong-handedly drove to the basket on three consecutive drives to reach the free throw line. But Washington made its ensuing free throws down the stretch after hitting just 41 percent from the charity stripe in the first half.

Washington made 21 of 25 free throws in the second half.

Arizona’s own free throw-producing machine — Williams — finished without an attempt.

The Wildcats play Washington State on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. MST with a very well-rested Williams.

“”It changes it a lot. He’s really efficient on offense, gets to the foul line and gives us that presence close to the basket,”” Miller said. “”The good news is he should be pretty fresh for our next game.””

Pressed for bodies — not to mention contributors — down low, Arizona relied on seldom-used big man Alex Jacobson after the regular in Williams fouled out.

Center Kyryl Natyazhko and forward Jamelle Horne played with four fouls almost the entire second half,and were later joined by Solomon Hill with four.

Kevin Parrom fouled out with 17 second remaining, part of the 30 fouls called on the Wildcats.

“”It kind of threw off the game,”” Hill said of the early foul trouble. “”We lost guys that we needed at key times. I don’t think we grasped the game plan from the get go.

“”When you get in a couple foul trouble and know coach is going to take you out, you don’t want to really play hard because the way things are going, you take it a little easy,”” Hill added. “”And that throws off the game.””

Washington stormed out of halftime by opening on a 16-4 run and forcing a frustrated Miller to burn two timeouts in attempt to calm a raucous 9,917-person crowd.

“”That second half, we knew we had to buckle down and do it as a team,”” said Washington guard Quincy Pondexter, who finished with a game-high 30 points and 12 rebounds.

“”That’s what wins championships: Team defense and team offense when we’re sharing the ball.””

What UA fans grew to cringe in the previous two seasons haunted the Wildcats for the first time this season: Foul trouble.

“”It’s frustrating, but at the same time it happens,”” Jones said. “”Everybody’s human, everyone’s going to get in foul trouble. At the same time we can’t bank on that, whether (Williams is) on the court or not. We just have to go and play and that’s what we did tonight.””

Miller credited the Huskies for putting the Wildcats in the less-than-ideal situation.

“”It’s hard on our team to win when that’s the case. None the less, Washington does that very well and they took advantage,”” Miller said.

Foul trouble even extended through the first half. Both Williams and Natyazhko picked up three fouls before the six-minute mark, forcing Jacobson to eat quality minutes.

Jacobson made a brief appearance against Oregon but hadn’t played true minutes until the BYU game on Dec. 28, 2009.

Washington used Jacobson’s defender, often times Darnell Gant, more as a help defender to trap down low for the remainder of the half. 

“”They told me to be ready, so I was ready,”” Jacobson said.

Jacobson ended the game with two points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.

Neither Williams or Natyazhko reentered the game in the first half, but Arizona responded with its outside game, sparked by guard Brendon Lavender’s three 3-pointers to give the Wildcats a six-point lead to end the half.

The Wildcats didn’t take their first lead until 1:46 in the first half, shooting 38 percent from the floor. The Huskies shot a mere 29 percent but had 12 points off 26 rebounds.

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