Huskies Flattened by Arizona

SEATTLE - The Huskies plumbed new depths after a nationally-televised 86-62 flattening courtesy of the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The loss is the Huskies sixth in a row, and dropped their record to 14-10 overall, 3-9 in conference play.

Washington started off the game on a high note. Donaven Dorsey uncorked a three-pointer moments after the Huskies won the tip-off, and a couple of quick buckets from Andrew Andrews, who earned a team-high double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, gave the Huskies an early 7-6 lead. That was pretty much it from the highlight department; things went downhill quickly.

It didn‘t take long for the Wildcats to step on the throats of the outmanned Dawgs. Arizona connected on 10 consecutive baskets that had the Huskies reeling defensively and looking for answers. That kind of scoring efficiency tends to have an adverse effect on an opponent’s psyche, and Washington couldn’t stop Arizona’s penetrators. Any hopes of a Husky upset were quickly dashed after a 26-4 Arizona run effectively put the game away midway through the first half.

The Huskies were victimized by the usual warts during the first half; poor shooting (9-29 from the field, 1-9 from beyond the arc) six turnovers and a steady diet of poorly defended, uncontested shots which Arizona converted into 18 of 32 field goals. At this point in the season, those kind of numbers are now par for the course. It’s hard to win many games when you shoot 31 percent from the floor while your opponent shoots 56 percent. The half closed with Arizona up 43-24.

Washington came out of the second half with renewed energy, particularly on the defensive end. Dorsey canned another quick jumper from behind the arc and consecutive three pointers by Andrews cut the Husky deficit to just 11 with eight minutes to go before the Wildcats regained their composure. That would be the closest Washington would get, and Arizona soon sprinted back out to a 20-point lead. They eventually won the game going away.

The Huskies had no answer for Arizona’s superb wings Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who combined for 37 points and 17 rebounds. Senior point guard T.J. McConnell kept the Huskies off balance with a double-double of 10 points and 10 assists. Besides the strong performance from Andrews and 13 points from Shawn Kemp, Jr., no other Washington player had more than two field goals. Washington’s leading scorer, Nigel Williams-Goss, went 1-10 from the the field and scored only seven points.

The six-game losing streak is the longest of the Lorenzo Romar era at Washington, let this latest loss was hardly unexpected. It effectively puts a nail in the coffin of the 2015 season, barring an unlikely Pac-12 tournament championship run. The Huskies don’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they host Arizona State – who beat Arizona last weekend – Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm.
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