Huskies Suffer Another Heartbreaking Finish In 75-72 Defeat To The Wildcats

The Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball team was looking to “right the ship” and get back on track at Alaska Airlines Arena against the Arizona WIldcats.

Before the game, the Huskies honored Kobe Bryant and the rest of the victims from the helicopter tragedy from this past Sunday.

At the beginning of the first half, the Arizona Wildcats came out to a fast start, as they took a quick 6-0 lead and set the tone early.

The Huskies would answer back with some baskets of their own, as true freshman forward Jaden McDaniels was assertive early.

During a timeout at the 15:42 mark, the Wildcats were leading 9-6, but the Huskies seemed to be settling into the game.

Arizona had already made two three-pointers on the night and the Huskies inability to defend the three has been a problem all season.

Some loose possessions and turnovers crept in for the Huskies, which found them fighting uphill to stay close to the Wildcats.

The Huskies were getting out-rebounded 12 to 5, which allowed the Wildcats to get some extra possessions and extend their lead.

At the 11:19 mark, the Huskies were trailing the Wildcats 18-11, and were in much need of finding their way on the offensive end.

With only two assists to show for Washington, the Huskies needed to get the ball in transition and push the pace where they play best.

Over the next few minutes, the Huskies got outworked on both ends of the floor as Arizona beat them to every loose ball and rebound.

Washington’s offensive woes continued as they went on a drought that saw them go 1 for 9 from the field as they couldn’t find the basket.

Eventually the Huskies would go on a little mini-run that prompted the Wildcats to call timeout at the 7:16 mark as they led 21-16.

Arizona went on a scoring drought of their own that lasted almost 3:00 minutes which helped the Huskies to keep the game close.

It would be critical for the Huskies to close the half out strong and stay close to the Wildcats heading into the locker room at halftime.

The Huskies would claw back into the game, as they went on a stretch hitting 3 of 3 from the field, giving them some momentum.

Some timely shooting from behind the arc by junior guard Nahziah Carter helped the Huskies cut the Wildcats lead to 28-25, with 3:25 left.

It was a nice surge for the Huskies who had been struggling all half to put the ball in the basket consistently.

Washington would end up taking a 31-30 lead after true freshman guard RaeQuan Battle hit a go-ahead step back three-pointer from the corner.

Down the stretch, the Huskies would find their groove offensively, while the WIldcats went on a long drought without scoring much.

At halftime, Arizona was ahead 36-33, after coming out to a fast start, but they couldn’t put the ball in the basket most of the half.

It was clearly evident that the Huskies played with a sense of urgency the last 8-minutes of the half, to climb back into the game.

Hameir Wright led the way with 7 points and 3 rebounds for the Huskies, as timely three-pointers helped the Huskies comeback.

Surely Washington head coach Mike Hopkins was imploring his team at halftime to stay more aggressive and cut down on the turnovers.

At the start of the second half, the Huskies came out with a nice set play to free up sophomore guard Jamal Bey for a wide-open three at the top of the arc.

Bey made the basket, which tied the game at 36-36 – a much needed spark to start the second half for the Huskies.

Over the next few minutes the Huskies would get “red-hot” from behind the arc, as they hit three after three, giving them the lead.

During a timeout at the 17:00 mark, the Huskies were leading Arizona 42-39, and shooting the ball in rhythm and with confidence.

The Huskies went on a 6-0 run over a 1:09 minute span and their defensive intensity was really starting to pickup as well.

Wright continued his hot shooting, as his made three-pointer forced the quick timeout by the Wildcats, needing to regroup.

Even true freshman forward Isaiah Stewart got into the three-pointer club with a make at the top of the arc, as the crowd erupted.

At the 14:28 mark, the Huskies were leading 50-44 over the Wildcats, having all the momentum going their way.

It was a three-point fest for both teams, as they were raining them in from all over the floor, with both defenses having no answer.

McDaniels had the dunk of the night as he “packed it” on his opponent, but then got a technical foul for staring him down afterwards.

Arizona would take the opportunity and gain momentum back in the game by going on a 7-0 run, over a 1-minute span that prompted a Washington timeout.

During the 11:37 mark, the Huskies were only leading 57-55. Somehow, the Huskies would have to stay aggressive and gain momentum back.

Both teams would get hot and not back down from each other, as baskets were being traded back and forth down the stretch.

At the 6:30 mark, the Huskies were leading 68-64, shaping up for another close finish.  Could the Huskies get it done this time?

It was anybody’s game at this point and the Huskies badly needed to prove to themselves that they could win a close game.

Arizona would go on a 6-0 run over the 0:42 span and actually take the lead 70-69 with 3:59 left in the game.  It was officially nail biting time!

Husky fans were very nervous, with the team not scoring a basket over the last 3:45 minute span – the “norm” at the end of games.

Battle would hit a huge three to take the lead 72-70 and now the Huskies needed to execute down the stretch for the victory.

The Wildcats hit a clutch three-pointer of their own to take the lead 74-72, which prompted a timeout by Hopkins to design a play.

It would all fall apart from there, as the Huskies had a turnover and an air ball down the stretch which sealed their fate!

When the final horn sounded, the Huskies lost the game 75-72, as their Pac-12 Conference record worsened to 2-7, which increased their losing streak to four games.

The Huskies were led by RaeQuan Battle, who had 14 points, while hitting 4 three-pointers.  Carter chipped in 13 points and 5 rebounds.

Arizona was led by redshirt sophomore guard Jemarl Baker Jr., who finished with 17 points and 4 assists on the night.

The Huskies had another golden opportunity to finish a close game down the stretch with a victory, but couldn’t quite seal the deal.

Next up for the Huskies (12-10, 2-7) is a home game on Saturday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m. PT, against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Alaska Airlines Arena.




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