Arizona defeated Washington on the road Saturday night. Here’s a closer look at what happened.
Player of the Game:
Lauri Markkanen - The freshman had his second impressive game in a row, proving that he is out of his funk. Markkanen racked up another double-double, finishing with 26 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Markkanen hit multiple big shots throughout the night and was a force inside as he didn't have a single three-pointer in the game. The Finn was dominant inside and Arizona couldn't have won without his performance.
* Arizona and Washington battled it out to a near tie for the first 26 minutes of the game. The Huskies were holding onto a 52-51 lead when Arizona started to break the game open. Allonzo Trier hit a three-pointer and Kobi Simmons added a basket before Markelle Fultz ended the short run. The Wildcats then got back-to-back dunks from Markkanen and Chance Comanche as they used the 9-1 run to take a 60-53 lead.
* Washington wasn't about to roll over just yet. Markelle Fultz got a shooter's bounce on a long three-pointer with 4:30 to go in the game. Comanche missed a short hook shot and Fultz connected on a single free throw to make it a one possession game.
* The final push for the Huskies came in the last minute and a half. Markkanen missed a three-pointer badly, but Comanche came down with the rebound and slammed it home for a 73-68 lead. On the other end of the court, Carlos Johnson slammed home a miss by Fultz, but was waved off for basket interference. Parker Jackson-Cartwright added two free throws and Comanche added one of his own as the Wildcats went up 76-68.
It was another solid performance for two players who are growing increasingly better with each passing game. Jackson-Cartwright and Comanche were both stellar in the game and would have been solid player of the game candidates if not for Markkanen's dominant showing. The point guard is growing more and more confident each time out in both his shot and his court vision.
Comanche is a player that I seem to be praising more and more with each passing game. Without Dusan Ristic against Washington, Comanche was on his own and played admirably. There were some defensive lapses, but there were also great plays that he made to help ensure the win. There was a block late in the game where Comanche essentially threw the ball right back at the Husky and forced the turnover. It was a perfect defensive play and a great example of how far the sophomore has developed as the season has gone on.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"We had to scratch and claw and fight to make plays to have a chance to win, and I know we had a couple of guys down but I thought (Washington's) effort level was great," Miller said.
"We can't change the injuries," Markkanen said. "They happen to every team. We just have been able to fight through it and guys are stepping up."