BY SPNW Staff 03:54PM 02/18/2012

Huskies Complete A Sweep Of Arizona, 79-70

Terrence Ross’s 25 points and Tony Wroten’s 22 led a complete performance by Washington, which dealt a serious blow to the Wildcats’ hopes of an at-large NCAA bid.

Tony Wroten scored 22 points and added nine rebounds in Washington's 79-70 victory over Arizona Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Terrence Ross had 25 points and five steals and Tony Wroten 22 and nine rebounds, but C.J. Wilcox, MIA in the first half with just two free throws, scored eight points in a three-minute burst of the second half that enabled Washington to pull away from Arizona for a 79-70 victory at Alaska Airlines Arena Saturday.

“A long time ago I looked toward this day and was very hopeful that this would be the position we would be in, with a little breathing room heading into the last part of our schedule,” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. “What happened today was great, a great day for all involved, especially our seniors.”

Washington’s “Senior Day” (last home game for UW seniors Darnell Gant and Brendan Sherrer) victory pushed the Huskies’ record to 19-8, including a league-leading 12-3 in the Pac-12. The win was also Washington’s third in a row, dating to last season, over the Wildcats.

The Huskies further completed a four-game sweep of Arizona schools for the first time since 2004 and for just the fourth time ever. UW also swept ASU and Arizona home and away in 1982 and 1984.

UW’s nine-point win was a relative “blowout” compared to its past three with Arizona, which had been decided by a combined total of five points, but the issue wasn’t decided until the final five minutes.

“The only way you beat that Arizona team is to outwork them,” said Romar.
“Arizona just doesn’t go away. They are very physical and well coached, easy to scout but hard to stop. I thought we played together and were very efficient. You especially have to be focused on the defensive end and we were.”

In the first half, Washington busted open a close contest by going on a 9-0 run in a minute of clock time to lead 31-20. Aziz N’Diaye sparked the burst with a pair of monstrous dunks, as the Huskies relentlessly — and successfully — attacked the basket.

But the Huskies suddenly went cold (they made only 39.5 percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes) and allowed Arizona to creep back into it, the Wildcats pulling to within 39-37 at intermission. Ross had 15 of Washington’s 39 and Wroten 10, but Wilcox didn’t even attempt a shot, finishing with two points on a pair of foul throws.

Washington established a 58-52 lead at the 10:34 mark after a great put back by Ross off a 3-point miss by Gant, but couldn’t gain significant separation as Arizona stubbornly hung around. Then Ross drew his fourth personal with 8:25 remaining.

Wilcox suddenly entered the building. Over the next three minutes, he knocked down two big 3-pointers and scored eight points overall, putting UW up 70-61 with a little more than five minutes remaining. Before Wilcox hit those 3-pointers, the Huskies had been 1-for-15 from beyond the arc against the Pac-12 leader at defending the trey.

In the first meeting between Washington and Arizona Jan. 28 in Tucson, the Huskies had a 10-point lead with three minutes to play, squandered it, and needed two Wilcox free throws and a Wroten block at the buzzer to preserve a two-point win. This time, Washington didn’t doze with the lead.

“We wasted clock and took good shots,” said Ross, the sophomore out of Portland, OR. “We had the right mind set and we stayed together. Every time we’ve played Arizona, it’s been a close game. They are a fun team, they’re athletic. When we play them, it’s like playing ourselves in a way.”

Freshman guard Nick Johnson led Arizona with 20 points and Solomon Hill, who tallied 28 in the first meeting between the teams, had 13 with 10 rebounds.

Ross connected on 11 of 19 field-goal tries and added five rebounds, while Wroten had his way with the Wildcats inside, particularly on one play in the second half when he brought the Alaska Airlines arena crowd to its feet with a thunderous dunk off a drive.

“Five steals, highlights all game, and he played good defense,” Romar said of Ross, who also blocked a shot.

“Tony Wroten just kept coming,” Romar said of his freshman guard, who flummoxed the Wildcats by continually penetrating to the basket. “He’s so relentless. He forces the defense to make a decision on every possession.”

While Wroten made only 8 of 22 from the floor, many of his misses came off attempts to put back offensive rebounds. Wroten, a 51 percent foul shooter, made six of nine from the line.

The biggest basket of the game, though, came not from Ross or Wroten, but from Wilcox, his first 3-pointer that sparked UW’s winning run.

“That first three he hit was all Abdul Gaddy,” Romar said, explaining the point guard’s role in maneuvering Wilcox into position to take the shot. “That three got C.J. untracked, that got him going.”

While Washington made just 3 of 18 3-pointers, the Huskies outscored the Wildcats 44-22 in the paint, most of that attributable to Wroten, for whom the Wildcats had no solution.

The Huskies, who had a 40-35 rebound edge and committed a season-low six turnovers, next play at Washington State Feb.25. They close out their conference schedule at USC March 1 and at UCLA March 3.

In a concession to “Senior Day,” and to the delight of Dawg fans, Romar started “Human Victory Cigar” Brendan Shrerrar, in what was his last home game, in the post in place of N’Diaye. Sherrer didn’t score, but got a rebound and made two nice defensive plays. He played a couple of minutes and didn’t re-enter the game until 30 seconds remained, when Washington’s victory was assured.

University of Washington 2011-12 Schedule/Results

(Rankings Are Current)

Date Opponent UW Rnk Opp Rnk W/L Score Rec.
11/4/11 vs. Seattle Pacific W 77-60 0-0
11/12/11 vs. Georgia State W 91-74 1-0
11/13/11 vs. Florida Atlantic W 77-71 2-0
11/14/11 vs. Portland W 93-63 3-0
11/20/11 at Saint Louis L 77-64 3-1
11/25/11 vs. Houston Baptist W 88-65 4-1
12/2/11 at Nevada L 76-73 (OT) 4-2
12/6/11 vs. Marquette 18 L 79-77 4-3
12/10/11 vs. Duke 10 L 86-80 4-4
12/16/11 vs. UC Santa-Barbara W 87-80 5-4
12/18/11 vs. South Dakota St. L 92-73 5-5
12/22/11 vs. Cal-State Northridge W 74-50 6-5
12/29/11 vs. Oregon State W 95-80 7-5
12/31/11 vs. Oregon W 76-60 8-5
1/5/12 at Colorado L 87-69 8-6
1/7/12 at Utah W 57-53 9-6
1/10/12 vs. Seattle U. W 91-83 10-6
1/15/12 vs. Washington St. W 75-65 11-6
1/19/12 vs. California L 69-66 11-7
1/21/12 vs. Stanford W 76-63 12-7
1/26/12 at Arizona St. W 60-54 13-7
1/28/12 at Arizona W 69-67 14-7
2/2/12 vs. UCLA W 71-69 15-7
2/4/12 vs. USC W 69-41 16-7
2/9/12 at Oregon L 82-57 16-8
2/12/12 at Oregon St. W 75-72 17-8
2/16/12 vs. Arizona State W 77-69 18-8
2/18/12 vs. Arizona W 79-70 19-8
2/25/12 at Washington St.
3/1/12 at USC
3/3/12 at UCLA
3/7/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/8/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/9/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/10/12 Pac-12 Tournament


  • Midencer

    Thank you for this succinct story that in a large way speaks to the mystery of the Hiroshi Yamauchi – Mariners ownership era, especially with regard to his audaciousness to influence the acquisition of Ichiro and others.  Like the Steinbrenner of Japan.  I wonder how Lou Pinella felt about it early that first year with Ichiro?  Was Ichiro “forced” on the team?  I can’t imagine that Lou was initially ecstatic.    

  • Joe Fan

    For the life of me, I do not understand this pick.  Why replace Portis with Wison?  We needed a home run with this pick and to fill an immediate need.  Take Wilson in round 6 if need be.

    • Artthiel

       Intangibles. Listen to this guy, as well as others who know him, he’s more than the stack of his molecules.

  • RadioGuy

    I agree with Russell Wilson being “too short.”  That’s one of the reasons San Diego was willing to send Drew Brees packing to New Orleans so they could put Philip Rivers under center instead…worked out great for the Chargers, didn’t it?  I mean, what have Brees and the Saints done since that deal?

    Seriously, I’m willing to wait and see how Wilson actually does before writing him off.  Otherwise, why even bother playing football in the first place?  We can just assign wins and losses by acclamation all the way to the Super Bowl and save the money spent on tickets by staring at our computers instead.  No sense in letting these guys actually prove on the field whether or not they belong in the NFL when our minds are already made up.

    • Artthiel

       Radio, if Wilson were 6-1, he’d be a first-rounder. If he were 5-9, he wouldn’t have been drafted. Metrics are important, but they’re not everything. Wilson is the kind of guy who can, like Drew Brees, become a outlier — the guy who breaks the mold.

      • RadioGuy

        That’s why I’m saying let’s let this guy actually get on the field in camp and prove whether he belongs.  After watching the Seahawks give up 50 sacks last year, it seems fair to say the pocket generally doesn’t hold up too well in Seattle.  Having a QB who can create plays on the run is huge, and Wilson seems to be that type of player. 

        Also, you mentioned Seneca Wallace, who I thought was a terrific athlete (best pure athlete on the team, IMHO), but Holmgren was always moving him around and never let him really find a comfort zone as a backup QB.  I don’t see that happening with Wilson, whose off-the-charts leadership abiilty gives him a mentality you want to see at QB, too.

        At the very least, he’ll challenge Portis for the 3rd QB slot on the team, but I can totally see him eventually becoming Flynn’s top backup and making Tarvaris Jackson expendable.  I liked TJ more than I thought I would last year, but I’d consider Wilson an upgrade if he can negate the size issue.

  • Artthiel

     Definite stretch. Like Irvin. He might a Seneca Wallace — great athlete, not quite a QB.

  • Tp10super

    Wisconsin had the biggest Offensive Line in the country, averaging 6’6 and 312lbs.  Wilson had 3 balls batted down during his Senior year.  He also set the NCAA record for Passing Efficiency and was 2 hail mary’s away from playing LSU in the National Championship game.  What did Josh Portis do that gave everyone around here a hard on?  Josh Portis got kicked out of 2 schools and was undrafted.  Tavaris Jackson has 1 year left on his contract and will be gone.  What is the problem with drafting a productive, athletic, intelligent leader in the 3rd round who will be counted on to win games for you when the starter is out?  You really want Josh Portis coming into a game in 2013 after Matt Flynn gets knocked out?  Wilson is shorter than him, but he is faster, has a more accurate and bigger arm, has made plays against big time competition, and has nothing but upside.  If he was 6’1 he would have been the 3rd QB taken in this draft.  He measured 5’10 and 7/8….so that’s 2 1/8 inches…what does 2 inches matter when a guy threw for 6,700 yards and 61 TD’s his last two years in college.  Getting a backup Tackle or Guard with the 75th pick in the draft is THAT much more important?  This front office has done nothing but prove the last 3 years that they know how to evaluate talent and when/where to get them.  Tell me how many 3rd round tackles are not only starting in the NFL but would even garner value in 3 years….  What if Wilson shows up big in preseason games and filling in during the regular season while Matt Flynn proves he is the QB of the next decade.  You send him to another team for a 2nd or 3rd round pick or a player…or he is one of the better backup QB’s in the league and someone who holds the locker room together.  I’m not sure how getting that type of person and player with the 75th pick is such a negative and can come even close to being called a “waste”.  I’ll take a “very solid” QB who has proved his worth over a “very solid OL or DL” in the 3rd round any day of the week.