Cats survive in Seattle

Sweeping the Washington teams is not an unusual occurrence for the Wildcats. However, winning the two games by a combined 12 points is something that Wildcat fans have not come to expect. With the L.A. schools coming to town next weekend, the Wildcats are riding a tenuous three-game winning streak.

The Wildcats, who are 6-0 in games decided by five or less this season, squeaked by the Huskies 74-69 in a game that wasn't decided until the final seconds.

Salim Stoudamire showed signs that some of cousin Damon's late game heroics rubbed off on him by nailing two free throws in the final seconds to ice the game.

Jason Gardner was clutch as well, as he continued to showcase the ice water in his veins by leading the Cats in the final seconds. His three-pointer from the corner with 2:45 to play gave the Cats a 70-64 lead and gave them some breathing room down the stretch.

Gardner scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and Rick Anderson added seven second-half rebounds as the Wildcat juniors once again led the way. Despite being saddled with foul trouble, junior forward Luke Walton still had six rebounds and four assists in the win.

Doug Wrenn led the way for the Huskies. The sophomore forward used his height and speed advantage to torch the Cats with 23 points.

The Cats and Dawgs traded runs throughout the first half. Everytime the Cats appeared to be taking control, the Huskies would answer with a small run of their own.

Early on it appeared it would be the Channing Frye show. Frye scores six points in the early going and looked as if he was on his way to a big game.

After falling behind 8-3, the Cats raced out to a 12-0 run and led 15-8. Just when it appeared that the Cats might actually have an easy Pac-10 game the Huskies stormed back with a 7-0 run of their own and trailed only five.

Good outside shooting allowed Washington to tie the game at 23. The Cats went on another 10-0 run and suddenly found themselves up 33-23. Once again the Huskies kept plugging away, going on an 11-4 run of their own, and a big bucket with just over a second left in the half had Washington within three at the intermission, 35-32.

The second half was even closer than the first. Neither team could gain control and the teams traded leads like bubble gum cards.

Luke Walton picked up a technical foul and had his fourth personal midway through the half, but the Wildcats didn't falter. Strong rebounding by Rick Anderson and some big threes by Gardner and Salim Stoudamire allowed the Wildcats to maintain a 67-60 lead at the 5:00 mark.

With the victory, the Cats moved to 11-4 (4-2 Pac-10) and have to gear up for the Trojans and Bruins, both of whom are coming off of big wins.

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