Balanced Arizona too much for Washington in Pac-12 tourney
Mar 11, 2020
Josh Green scored 19 points to lead four Arizona players scoring in double figures, and the fifth-seeded Wildcats advanced in the Pac-12 Tournament with a 77-70 win over 12th-seeded Washington, Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Arizona (21-11) went on a 14-4 run over the first 5:46 of the second half to build a 15-point lead, then held Washington (15-17) at bay for the remainder of the game.
The Wildcats relied on a balanced scoring effort to counter the career-high 29-point performance of Washington's Isaiah Stewart, getting 14 points from Nico Mannion, 11 points and nine rebounds from Zeke Nnaji, and 14 points with six assists from Dylan Smith.
Arizona went cold after building its game-high lead, however, and finished the afternoon shooting just 39.7 percent from the floor.
Washington battled back, cutting the deficit to as few as five points. Marcus Tsohonis, who scored 14 points, made a free throw with a minute remaining that pulled the Huskies to a 71-66 margin, capping a 6-0 run.
Jaden McDaniels joined Stewart and Tsohonis in double figures with 10 points before fouling out. Elijah Hardy added a career-high 11 points for the Huskies.
After Washington pulled to within its closest margin since the beginning of the second half at that 71-66 mark, Smith made a pair of free throws with 44 seconds remaining that put the game away for the Wildcats.
Despite field-goal shooting struggles for both sides -- Washington also made 39.7 percent of its 58 attempts and went 3-of-23 from 3-point range -- both were excellent at the foul line. Arizona finished 22 of 29, while Washington went 21 of 24.
With the win, Arizona advances to Thursday's quarterfinal to face fourth-seeded USC. The Wildcats and Trojans split their regular-season series, with the home team winning both games.
Arizona seeks to become just the third team in Pac-12 Tournament history to win four games en route to the title, and the second in as many years. Colorado accomplished the feat in 2012 and Oregon replicated it in 2019, igniting a March that culminated in a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
--Field Level Media