Wildcats come back strong

Arizona used a strong defensive effort to defeat Washington 87-70 at McKale.

After Friday's game against Washington State, head coach Sean Miller made it known that the UA would have to improve its defense if it wanted to win games.

It didn't take long.

Arizona's defense shut down Quincy Pondexter and the Wildcats rolled en route to an 87-70 win over Washington at McKale.

"It was really all on the defensive end, our offense was pretty good on Friday, but today we were really focused on defense," Kyle Fogg said. "We were playing against some great players like (Quincy) Pondexter and (Isiah)Thomas, and we did a really good job defensively on them and that was the difference tonight."

Jamelle Horne helped set the pace early when he had four three pointers in the first half.

"People were getting on me for taking those threes at the beginning of the year, but now they're going down and that's quieted that," Horne said. "It's huge for our team when I can knock down those shots like I did tonight."

Still, it was the defense that won the game for the Wildcats.

"I wanted to just go out there and play hard," Kevin Parrom said. "I had to guard (Quincy) Pondexter, and I just wanted to out-work him and shut him down. I had to guard Klay Thompson Friday night. I've had a tough defensive assignment this week."

Speaking of Parrom, Miller sees him continuing to have tough defensive assignments and improving because of it.

"Because of how we recruited, I've probably known Kevin the longest, and I think that it would be really interesting to see how he would have been at this point had he not missed any games or practices," Miller said. "It's not easy to get back after an injury, and I can only see him improving more and more throughout the season."

Washington losing both games this weekend is a sign of how tough the conference can be and Miller says the UA must prepare every week for that.

"The Pac-10 is a very difficult conference to play in, and winning or losing definitely affects how you go into the next game," he said. "A win really helps, going into the next game each weekend.

"Our two losses to USC and Washington State were really tough, and I give credit to the players and our staff for responding well going forward. We've been doing really well at playing a good second game, and now we just have to get that to the first."

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