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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 23 Arizona men’s basketball defeats Washington 77-72

Arizona+guard+Allonzo+Trier+%2811%29+jumps+for+a+dunk+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+9+in+Los+Angeles.+The+Wildcats+aim+to+continue+their+home-winning+streak+past+Pac-12+Conference+leading+Washington.+
Rebecca Noble
Arizona guard Allonzo Trier (11) jumps for a dunk on Saturday, Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. The Wildcats aim to continue their home-winning streak past Pac-12 Conference leading Washington.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Heading into its Pacific Northwest road-trip, Arizona men’s basketball held a perception of a team that struggled to translate its home to success on the road.

The No. 23 Wildcats helped shred that perception Saturday, as they defeated Washington 77-72 at Alaska Airlines Arena and earned their first road-trip sweep of the conference season. The win moves Arizona to 19-5 overall and 7-4 in Pac-12 Conference play.

Ryan Anderson led Arizona with 22 points Saturday while Gabe York added 18.

Tied at 70-all with two minutes to go, the Wildcats took the lead on a pair of Ryan Anderson free-throws.

Then with one minute remaining, a wide open Kadeem Allen swished a deep three to put Arizona ahead 75-70.

With the lead trimmed to three points and less than 30 seconds left on the clock, York missed a baseline jumper, but Anderson was there for a putback attempt, on which the six-foot-nine forward was fouled.

Anderson knocked down his two free throws to make it 77-72, effectively sealing the Arizona victory.

“Knowing that we’ve done all this all year and played in tough environments,” Anderson said, “all those moments built us for this moment in the Pac-12.”

Anderson finished the game with a double-double – his 15 rebounds account for a third of the team’s total – capping off a dominant road trip.

Anderson was coming off a career-high 31 points against Washington State.

“He’s one of our conference’s best rebounders and one of our conference’s best players,” Miller said. “How he played this week, I have a hard time believing he won’t be the player of the week in the Pac-12.”

Turnovers and foul trouble dominated the afternoon matchup at sold out Hec Ed. It was UW’s first sell out since February of 2012, when Washington defeated Arizona 79-70.

Washington opened the game in a flummoxing full-court press, leading to a handful of Arizona turnovers and a quick 14-7 Huskies lead.

The Huskies’ up-and-down tempo continued to hamper the Wildcats for much of the night, forcing Arizona’s guards to let go of their usual deliberate pace.

The Wildcats finished with 20 turnovers.

“We don’t want to turn it over that many times,” Miller said. “That’s been a source of a lot of discussion among us. We did, [so] we have to learn from the mistakes.”

Arizona didn’t help itself in the early going when it missed its first six 3-pointers, a couple of which were wide open.

Arizona finally heated up around the eight minute mark of the first half, when Allonzo Trier knocked down the UA’s first three of the night while putting the Wildcats up 27-24.

Trier, playing in his first game following a broken-hand injury at USC, struggled with foul trouble the entire afternoon before fouling out with 6:10 to go in the game. He would finish with seven points.

Trier said he made the decision to play last night after the team practiced. Yesterday was the first time Trier engaged in a full-contact practice since his injury.

Despite the limited outing – Trier was on the court for just 16 minutes – his teammates felt his presence.

“Even if he’s not scoring the ball, he’s a threat offensively at any moment,” York said. “The other team has to account for Allonzo, so that opened the floor up for everybody else.”

In the second half, Arizona quickly let a six-point halftime lead slip away.

A thunderous dunk by Malik Dime gave Washington a 51-45 advantage with 14:39 to go, sending the packed crowd roaring.

But a 10-0 Arizona run put the UA back on top, and the Wildcats would never allow UW to take a lead the rest of the afternoon.

Arizona returns home to Tucson tied for third in the Pac-12 and two games behind Oregon in the loss column.

“We have five of our next seven at home, so we’re very excited about that,” York said afterwards. “We just need to be ready to go.”


Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.


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