Arizona Loses Heartbreaker

Arizona led for the first 39.5 minutes of the match-up with Washington, the final home game for seniors Hassan Adams, Chris Rodgers, and Isaiah Fox. The game was 40 minutes long however and the Cats fell 70-67. The UA had some large leads but Washington came up with the big plays when they needed them to come away with a 70-67 win.

It was a frustrating game for the Wildcats who would have loved to come away with the win over #14 Washington, and give the UA seniors a proper good-bye. The Huskies played spoiler to a happy celebration when with 33 seconds left in the game, Bobby Jones slammed the ball home to give the UW a 68-67 lead before moving on to the win.

Arizona had the opportunity to take the lead when Marcus Williams stepped to the line to shoot a pair with 0:20 left on the clock. He missed them both and the UA was forced to foul. With only four second half fouls called against them, the task would be difficult, but the Cats finally got Justin Dentmon to the free-throw line with nine ticks left on the clock.

Dentmon was ice from the stripe nailing both. Arizona came down to the other end of the court with the opportunity to force overtime. Hassan Adams had the ball with his injured shoulder. He was double-teamed before he got a look at the hoop. He took a 22-footer at the buzzer which fell a foot short, and the Huskies came away with the late win.

However, it was not that one play that cost the Cats the game, it was a series of errors and Washington runs at inopportune times which spelled disaster for the UA.

In the first half, Arizona led by as many as 11 by a score of 25-14 with 7:00 left in the half. Washington responded by rattling off a 16-9 run to pull within three at the break.

Head Coach Lute Olson's half-time speech seemed to motivate the Cats who pulled out in front by as many as 12 with 13:30 left in the game. The Huskies responded once again with another big run as they crept their way back into it and trailed by only two points with 8:49 left in the ball game.

Arizona would take a six point lead again but with 2:28 they hit a wall and did not score the rest of the way. A series of poor inbounds passes, dribbling errors, and one questionable no-call in which Kirk Walters was pulled into the air while trying to receive a pass resulted in the loss for the Cats.

It was the final outing in McKale Center for seniors Adams, Chris Rodgers, and Isaiah Fox. Adams tallied eight points, two rebounds and three steals in the outing with a shoulder that kept him out for much of the second half.

Rodgers had a decent outing as he tallied eleven points in the ball game. Fox did not see any action.

All things told, Williams led the way for the Cats with 20 points and Ivan Radenovic tallied the team high five rebounds. Although it was Mustafa Shakur who shined with a double-double scoring ten points and adding ten assists in the game.

With the loss the UA falls to 18-11 on the year. At this time it is unclear who Arizona will play in the Pac-10 tournament, but the earliest indicators suggest that depending on the California game, the UA will face either USC or Stanford in their first round game.

Stay tuned for upcoming information.

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