Nic Wise couldn’t find his stroke, Derrick Williams couldn’t stay on the floor, and Quincy Pondexter couldn’t miss.
And when it counted most, hyperdefender Venoy Overton was cool as a cucumber.
It was just another night for the University of Washington men’s basketball at Hec Edmondson Pavilion in Seattle.
Pondexter scored 30 points, while Arizona’s two stars combined for just 15, as UW ran its home winning streak to five with an 81-75 win over the Wildcats on Thursday night.
UW’s Overton might have made the most important shots of the night, going 6 of 6 from the free-throw line down the stretch to help the Huskies (15-7, 5-5 Pac-10) hold off the Wildcats (11-10, 6-4). Each of Overton’s three trips to the free-throw line in the final 50 seconds came with UW clinging to two-point leads.
“Venoy’s a gamer,” head coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He hadn’t done a whole lot during the game – he made a couple ill-advised decisions – but when the game was on the line, he came through. That’s how he is.”
But for most of the night, it was Pondexter who hit the shots for UW. He was 10 of 17 from the field to carry the Huskies, who had to rally from a six-point deficit at halftime. The senior forward is averaging 27.6 points per game in the last five home games, all UW victories.
“Once in a while they’re going to surround you, and you’re not going to score 20 points every night,” Romar said, “but for the most part, this is how he’s played all year long.”
The arena hasn’t been quite as friendly to opposing players. Wise, who came into the game averaging a team-high 16.0 points per outing, had just 12 on 4-of-17 shooting. He missed 10 of his first 11 shots before hitting some buckets down the stretch.
•Sanctions for Arizona: First-year coach Sean Miller said his school will impose its own sanctions on the basketball program for violations by former coach Lute Olson related to an offseason AAU tournament in 2008.
Miller confirmed Thursday night’s game that Arizona will announce its own penalties today.
He did not confirm or deny a Foxsports.com report that the Wildcats are going to sacrifice a scholarship, recruiting days in the summer and on-campus visits by recruits.
USC 66, California 63: Mike Gerrity scored 12 points and hit two 3-pointers in the final minutes, and Nikola Vucevic made four free throws in the final 8.9 seconds as the Trojans (13-9, 5-5) defeated the Bears (14-8, 6-4) in Los Angeles.
UCLA 77, Stanford 73: Reeves Nelson scored 18 points and Malcolm Lee hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left to preserve the Bruins’ (11-11, 6-4) victory over the Cardinal (10-12, 4-6) at Los Angeles that kept the Cardinal winless on the road this season.