No. 18 Arizona bounces back, defeats Washington at McKale Center

There are no longer any undefeated teams in the Pac-12.

No. 18 Arizona made sure of that in its first league game at the McKale Center this season.

The Wildcats defeated Washington 99-67 behind a massive 26-5 run early in the second half that put the game out of reach and allowed Sean Miller’s group to coast to a victory in a game that looked up in the air in the first half.

The Huskies led with two minutes left in that opening half, as many of the defensive issues that Miller has been preaching about in recent weeks continued to rear their ugly heads. Washington shot 51.5 percent in the first half and generally took the action to a Wildcats team that was a bit lethargic in the early going.

But in the second half, the game completely turned on its head as the Wildcats’ offense fed off of its defense. Arizona converted 16 Washington turnovers for the game into 24 points as the Wildcats’ frontcourt just completely took over and dominated its counterparts. Ryan Anderson, named to the Wooden Award Midseason list Wednesday, led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Dusan Ristic added eight second-half points.

This was a pretty big win for Arizona (14-3, 2-2 in the Pac-12) to build confidence as the Wildcats were playing without leading scorer Allonzo Trier for the first time this season. Trier is going to miss the next month or so with a broken hand, which means it’s going to be incumbent upon Arizona to find a way to replace his offensive production.

While Washington isn’t necessarily the best defensive team in the country, it’s hard not to come away from this one without saying that the Wildcats passed that first test.

Kaleb Tarczewski had a big night in a win for Arizona. (USATSI)
Kaleb Tarczewski had a big night in a win for Arizona. (USATSI)

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