Arizona Routs Dawgs in the Desert

Arizona extended their home court dominance to 48-straight wins - currently the longest in college basketball - and blew out the Washington Huskies in the process, 99-67 Thursday night in Tucson. And they were able to do it without the services of their leading scorer, Allonzo Trier.

Ryan Anderson led five Wildcats in double-digits with 21 points. Kaleb Tarczewski added 16, Kadeem Allen 13, Gabe York 12 and Mark Tollefsen 11. 

Washington (11-5, 3-1), who was only down three at half but were out-scored the final 20 minutes 55-26, was paced by Noah Dickerson's 17 points, while Marquese Chriss scored 13. Andrew Andrews' 26-game streak of scoring more than double-digits went away, as the senior only scored nine points. 

After a Dickerson lay-in to open the second half gave Washington their best chance to regain a lead they briefly had in the first half, Arizona put the hammer down. A three-pointer by York initiated a 20-6 extended run that took them through the second media timeout with 11:55 left in the game. Then it became the dunk and layin show for UA as they were relentless in exposing Washington's bigs. 

A dunk by Arizona's Chance Comanche gave the Wildcats their biggest lead - 35 - with 2:21 to go and both benched cleared. A three-pointer by Dominic Green trimmed the final score to 99-67. 

“They shoot 70 percent in the second half, we shoot 30 percent," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar post-game. "The ball didn’t go in the basket for us in the second half early and we committed a couple of fouls. At that point it just seemed that we were deflated a bit. Everything we did, we did in a sub-par fashion; guarding out-of-bounds plays, transition defense - nothing went well for us. Arizona had a lot to do with that. They did a good job of making some adjustments. We called some time outs and we only had one time out left and I didn’t want to use it in case we came back and didn’t have any left, and they kept distancing themselves from us.

“We didn’t have that fight at the end, and hopefully it’s the first and the last. If it took until the 16th or 17th game for that to happen - as long as it doesn’t happen again we’ve got to learn from it and go. But we have to have a short memory. We did a good job in the first half, but second half we didn’t have that fight like we should have.”

The game was won and lost in the foul column. Offensively, the Wildcats packed in their defense - and while UW made four of seven three-pointers in the first half, they were a frigid 2-12 in the second half. And the Huskies, who were averaging over 20 made free throws a game, shot 11 total free throws. Andrews, who goes to the line as much as anyone in the country, only shot four free throws all night.

"Sometimes we just weren’t as patient as we needed to be and we kind of let them off the hook,” Romar said when asked about the lack of free throw shooting. 

On defense, Washington was hit with the same thing that has plagued them for much of the year - foul trouble. By the 12-minute mark in the first half, Arizona was already in the bonus. Overall, Arizona was 20-28 from the line. 

More importantly, with 10 minutes remaining to halftime, Dickerson, Chriss, Malik Dime, and Dejounte Murray all had two fouls. By halftime, Dickerson and Dime each had three fouls. 

The biggest consequence of Washington's foul trouble inside was the insistence by the Wildcats of going to their posts - namely Anderson and Tarczewski - to do damage. 

“Ryan Anderson made his presence felt right away, couple offensive rebounds," Romar said. "He was very aggressive down there. Him and Tarczewski, they did a good job down there. We got in foul trouble and it just got worse because now you’re playing a little tentatively down there. But still, we’re supposed to go in there and front the post. When we were fronting the post they weren’t doing as much damage but then we kind of rested  a bit in the second half and they were able to catch the ball pretty much wherever they wanted and it was over then.”

It potentially could have been much worse, as Arizona got the bad news earlier in the week that their leading scorer Trier - originally from Seattle - would be out up to six weeks with a broken hand suffered in UA's four-overtime loss last weekend at USC. 

Now it's Romar who has to worry about a team who needs to come back in two days to play another game on the road - this time at Arizona State. 

“We’ve had teams that have gone to the Sweet Sixteen that were really good that had a game like this or something similar to this where we did not play well, and sometimes you just throw it away," he said. "Bad exam, let’s get it out of the way, but let’s make sure we come back with a lot of confidence and a lot of purpose and enthusiasm in the next game.”

“We talk a lot about taking the next step. Well, this is a big step to me. You don’t play well, it doesn’t go your way - are you able to bounce back? And this is a bounce-back on the road. If you want to finish at the top of this league somewhere, you’re gonna have to get some splits on the road. That’s what we’re going to strive for.”

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