Husky men seek Desert cure

MEN: Washington (2-9, 8-13) at #11 Arizona (8-3, 15-6)<br> Thursday, February 7 - 5:35 PM (PST) FSN<br> McKale Center – Tucson, AZ<br> Series All Time: Arizona leads, 33-15<br> Last Meeting: Jaunary 12, 2002 – Arizona 74, Washington 69

It isn't enough that the Husky men's team have dropped their last two games against the "other two" PAC-10 basement dwellers -- teams they really should be beating if they harbor ANY conference tournament hopes. And it isn't enough that the pressure surrounding the future of coach Bob Bender is becoming a distraction for his floundering young team, though Bender says he'll do everything in his power to keep it from being a distraction.

Now Washington must enter their yearly waterloo -- the Arizona Desert, where they have been swept 11 times in their past 13 visits. Since 1989, Washington has won once in Tucson (1996) and once in Tempe (1997).

In Arizona's visit to Seattle in January, senior Jason Gardner scored 16 of his team-high 21 points in the second half as the Wildcats withstood a last-minute Husky charge -- Curtis Allen's attempt at a game-tying trey rimming long in the final 15 seconds after a Grant Leep three-pointer drew the Huskies within two ten seconds earlier. Rick Anderson added 14 points and 11 boards for Arizona. Washington's Doug Wrenn led all scorers with 25, at the time his third-straight 20-point outing.

"There's no question (Washington) played well enough to win last time," Arizona coach Lute Olson says of Washington. "They had a couple of guys miss front ends of one-and-ones that could have made a big difference late. They hurt us some in transition. They just haven't been able to close people out."

"Hopefully, we'll be able to use the great home-court advantage that we have."

Arizona has come back from a pair of 20-point second-half deficits at home this season.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
WASHINGTON        CL   HT   PTS  REB 
Doug Wrenn        SO  6-8  19.2  6.1 
Grant Leep        SR  6-7   7.8  4.2 
David Dixon       SR  6-11  7.8  8.0 
Curtis Allen      SO  6-0  12.8  4.7* 
Erroll Knight     FR  6-7   7.0  2.9       

ARIZONA           CL   HT   PTS  REB           
Luke Walton       JR  6-8  14.6  7.9
Rick Anderson     JR  6-9  12.9  6.5
Channing Frye     FR  6-10 10.4  6.7
Salim Stoudamire  FR  6-1  12.1  1.9 
Jason Gardner     JR  5-10 21.0  4.7*
(* = Assists)

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