UW fails to rebound from road woes

TUCSON, Ariz. - Jamelle Horne led six Arizona players in double-digits with 22 points, and the Wildcats took it to No. 24 Washington on both ends of the court, earning an easy 87-70 win Sunday at the McKale Center. For the Huskies, coming off last year's outright Pac-10 Conference Championship, it's their third-straight loss in league play.

Nic Wise (14), Kyle Fogg (14), Momo Jones (13), Derrick Williams (12) and Kevin Parrom (10) were the other Wildcats (8-8, 2-2) to finish with 10 or more points, while the Huskies (10-5, 1-3) were paced by the 18 points of Isaiah Thomas, who was scoreless at the half.

"I don't like losing, I don't want to lose," Thomas said afterward. "I take it upon myself. I try and do what I can to get what the defense gave me but it still wasn't enough."

Abdul Gaddy had his best scoring night of the year, with 13 points in 32 minutes. The former Arizona commit was hearing it all game long, as the UA faithful booed him every time he touched the ball or was involved in the action.

"When I came out and the crowd booed me, it just put a chip on my shoulder," Gaddy said after the game. "Every time I touched the ball the crowd was saying something. It definitely affects you a little bit."

"I knew the crowd was going to be into it. We were hoping to come out on the winning side, but they knocked down their shots. It's just a tough place to play. I thought it was going to go away, but it didn't. They kept after me. And that's how it's going to be sometimes, especially on different road trips. Probably UCLA will do the same thing. I'm expecting it. We just have to come in and play harder."

The Huskies also have to find a way to start games a lot quicker. Just like with the Arizona State game on Friday, Washington could not get into a rhythm and just like that they were down 8-0 with 16:23 left in the first half. The Huskies didn't even score their first points until a Matthew Bryan-Amaning jumper at the 15:05 mark broke the ice.

"We've got to move the ball better offensively," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We rushed things early. In the ASU game, we didn't have the type of focus we needed on the defensive end. We've got to be more consistent from start to finish."

The 'Cats kept Thomas and Pondexter, averaging a combined 38.7 points per game up 'til Sunday, to four total shots in the first half. If it wasn't for the hot outside shooting of guard Elston Turner - who hit three 3-pointers - the 10-point halftime deficit could have been much worse.

"I've got to do a better job of getting Quincy shots," Romar said. "Isaiah tried early; it just wasn't there."

Washington thought they had the 'Cats solved momentarily, as they raced out to a quick 8-0 run in the first 1:27 of the second half, prompting a quick time out from first-year UA Head Coach Sean Miller.

Arizona responded with six points of their own and eventually built their lead up to 19 when Wise scored a layup with a little over 10 minutes left in the game.

Overall, the 'Cats whipped the Huskies in rebounding, 40-23, six less than the 29 they collected against Arizona State. During their current three-game losing streak, Washington has been out-rebounded 114-83, or an average of 38-28.

"We got blasted on the rebounds today, and that was the difference," Thomas said.

"That's a pattern," Romar added when asked about the recent string of poor efforts on the glass. That's something we have to do a better job of. And before Jon Brockman, we usually did a decent job on the backboards. This is one of the first teams we've had, as of late, have not done what we're supposed to do there. We've got to fix that.

"Mental mistakes can be solved," he added. "We've got to go into our own little basketball laboratory and we have to have more repetition. When you're in class and you don't quite get it, you get extra tutoring. That's how we've got to do it with this basketball team. We've got to spend extra time in those areas."

For the team, they know they have their work cut out for them if they hope to get back into the Pac-10 race. But they aren't sure where the answers are going to come.

"If I knew, it wouldn't be happening," Thomas said, matter-of-factly. "We wouldn't be 1-3 right now. We're disappointed. We're mad. But we have to get back to work tomorrow and Tuesday and Wednesday and get ready for these two big league games this week."
Statistics:
Points: Thomas 18, Gaddy 13, Turner 12, Pondexter 7, Overton 6, Suggs 6, Gant 4, Bryan-Amaning 4
Rebounds: Thomas 5, Pondexter 3, Overton 3, Bryan-Amaning 3, Breshers 2, Turner 2, Gant 1, Gaddy 1, Trent 1, Suggs 1, TEAM 1
Assists: Thomas 5, Pondexter 3, Gant 1, Gaddy 1, Overton 1
Steals: Pondexter 1, Gant 1, Overton 1, Bryan-Amaning 1, Suggs 1
Blocks: Breshers 2


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