The Cats control the tip and the crowd, at least the students, is LOUD. Five years ago this place was as quiet as a library, now it is one of the toughest venues in the Pac-10.
19:45 in the first
Ivan buries a long two to open the game. My guess is we will see him a lot out on the perimeter tonight to try and keep the UW big men roaming.
19:16 in the first
Phil Nelson gets his first start of his college career and nails a three on the first UW offensive possession. Even better for the Oregon native, he got rid of the wispy, wannabe mustache he sported during the AAU circuit.
19:03 in the first
Less than a minute in and we already have seven points between the two teams. Three scores on three possessions. If you bet the over you are happy right about now.
17:40 in the first
It is now very obvious that the Cats and Ivan want to keep Hawes away from the glass. Despite being the Cats' lone big man, Radenovic is spending most of his time away from the bucket.
16:06 in the first
Almost four minutes in and we have a total of two missed shots between the teams.
15:48 in the first
I spoke too soon. Hawes just missed two in a row down low on the same possession. They are now just 5-8 from the field.
14:07 in the first
The Wildcats work a great give and go. Chase gets the steal near mid court and throws a long bounce pass to Mustafa, who promptly tosses a lob back to Budinger. Chase is able to lay it in and is fouled in the process. The three-point play puts the Cats up 21-14.
12:20 in the first
The Cats are just swarming Appleby. They seem content to give up some penetration as long as the sharp shooter does not burn them.
10:27 in the first
The Cats now have three reserves in the game and UW promptly ties it at 27. Not only are three reserves in the game, but all three freshmen are in the game. This may not be the best combination for the Cats, especially after what we saw in the Cal game.
9:12 in the first
The officials are letting them play, at least down low. This will benefit the Huskies. The Cats have missed a few inside.
8:25 in the first
Cats miss again on the inside and the UW has responded with a 13-0 run. Suddenly the Huskies are up by nine.
6:25 in the first
Some reports said that Pondexter wanted to play for the Wildcats but they held him off to pursue Budinger. Whether that is true or not, the freshman is making them pay. He had 17 points off the bench and the Husky lead has grown to 12.
5:29 in the first
ANOTHER missed lay-in for the Wildcats. There is some bumping down low but not so much that the Cats shouldn't be finishing.
4:50 in the first
Big play for the Cats. McClellan hits a deep three and there is a foul away from the ball as well. Budinger goes to the line to make both three pointers and suddenly the Cats are only down nine.
3:37 in the first
Cats are on a 10-0 run and the deficit is suddenly four points. Brockman has missed to down low and the Cats have gathered in the board and hurried up the court.
2:22 in the first
The foul situation is benefiting the Wildcats. Hawes has two fouls, while Ryan Appleby has three, though his last one was a bit iffy, especially how the game has been called so far.
1:49 in the first
Pondexter's 19th point just snapped a 15-0 Arizona run. UW retakes the lead 47-46 after surrendering it on the last possession.
19:48 in the second
Hawes comes out of the locker room late and begins the half on the bench. The Cats promptly attack the hoop and Budinger gets the bucket and the foul. Cats tie it up at 51.
19:10 in the second
Something you won't see very often, UW working the shot clock down. Appleby is forced to throw up an off balanced shot at the buzzer.
19:00 in the second
Washington claims that nothing is wrong with Hawes and that he was going with a better combination of players. The Cats went on a 15-0 run with Hawes on the bench, how is any combination without him "better"?
17:56 in the second
Cats look like they are going to get out on the break but Staf and Williams both try to coral the ball and UW winds up with it, leading to an easy pass down low for an uncontested lay-up.
17:02 in the second
Hawes picks up his third foul, and the Huskies leave him in the game. He fouled Budinger as he went up and tried to slam home a DEEP lob pass from Shakur. Shakur had to be 25 feet from the basket when he tossed it up there.
We'll see if leaving him in there comes back to hurt the Huskies or if it is a good calculated gamble.
15:27 in the second
Brockman has seven points in the half. The Cats sure do miss Bret Brielmaier who hurt his knee earlier in the day and probably won't play. He is one of the few Wildcats who has the strength to attempt to bang with Brockman.
13:30 in the second
Since Hawes is in the zone the Cats are penetrating and kicking. Hawes really can't challenge the shot and it is Williams who is benefiting. He has scored eight in a row, six straight lay-ins.
13:20 in the second
Ivan with a monster one-hand jam. He went right down the middle and all Hawes could do is get out of the way.
11:38 in the second
McClellan with a big three, with a man in his face and the Cats suddenly lead 70-69. How many teams could score 70 in 30 minutes? There are a few Big 10+1 teams that couldn't score 70 if you gave them a couple of extra overtimes.
10:51 in the second
What has Shakur done tonight? Just score 13 points and dish out nine assists. Not a bad night and there is still ¼ of the game to play.
6:07 in the second
Back-to-back threes by the Cats and they take a five-point lead after trailing by one two possessions ago.
5:40 in the second
Staf is feeling it. Nelson nailed a three but Shakur comes down and drains his second in a row. Cats take a five-point lead again. Staf is really showing off a nice stroke tonight.
4:50 in the second
Cats finally go to the bench this half. They insert Dillon to get Chase a rest.
4:32 in the second
Dillon responds by deflecting a pass. It's tied up for a jump ball, but the Huskies have just five seconds left on the shot clock.
4:28 in the second
It doesn't mater. Appleby hits an off balance 17-footer as the shot clock expires. Is this where I insert the Appleby, "shooting good in the neighborhood" joke?
2:58 in the second
Cats had a chance to take a six-point lead but instead the Huskies play great defense and the Cats miss with less than five seconds left and UW has a chance to make it a one possession game.
1:40 in the second
Big defensive stop for the Cats. Up six, Appleby misses an open three and the Cats gather in the lose ball.
1:07 in the second
AND THE CATS CONVERT!!! It looked like Marcus Williams was in trouble as he was double teamed and no one was coming to the ball. Instead Radenovic slipped down the baseline and Williams fed him the ball for the easy lay-in and the eight-point lead.
46.9 in the second
Start the bus. Appleby misses again and the Cats get the ball. Shakur is fouled but the Huskies are below the foul limit. Cats will have to inbound and should be able to run some time off the clock.
0:00 in the second
The Huskies did not hit a field goal in the final 4:25 and the Wildcats end up winning this one by nine. Tough to pick an MVP in this one as four Wildcats score 20 points or more.