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Huskies down Arizona 79-70

Sun., Feb. 19, 2012

Players on Washington's bench cheer after a dunk by teammate Tony Wroten against Arizona. (Associated Press)
Players on Washington's bench cheer after a dunk by teammate Tony Wroten against Arizona. (Associated Press)

SEATTLE – The Washington men’s basketball team gave its three seniors a memorable send-off as the spectators at sold-out Edmundson Pavilion had to wonder if it was the last home game for underclassmen Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr.

Watching the Huskies’ thrilling 79-70 victory over Arizona, the crowd chanted “one more year” while Ross stood at the free-throw line and when he walked off the court.

“I wasn’t shaking my head to be like, ‘No, I’m not coming back.’ I was shaking my head because I can’t believe they’re chanting this right now,” the sophomore guard said. “I was flattered, but I don’t know what I’m going to do.

“I might come back, but at this point it’s whatever happens in these last games and in the NCAA tournament. Just got see how the future plays out, but at the moment I’m just focused on our team.”

If this was the last home game for Ross and Wroten, then they put on a show that won’t soon be forgotten. Ross looked every bit like a first-round draft choice while displaying a midrange game that would make some NBA players jealous.

Everything was on display. Pull-up jumpers. Turnaround bank shots and dribble-drive layups. Ross connected on 10 of 11 shots inside the arc for most of his game-high 25 points. His only shortcoming was a 1-for-8 performance on 3-pointers.

Otherwise, Ross was amazing while collecting five rebounds and five steals.

“We need that from him,” senior co-captain Darnell Gant said. “He’s a scoring specialist, and people can’t guard him. For him to get started like that, I expect him to do that every game. We need that from him because he provides that spark.

“Everybody has something different that they bring to the game, and we need scoring from him.”

In boxing parlance, Ross is a stinging jab while Wroten is a punishing uppercut. The freshman guard repeatedly bullied his way to the basket and pounded Arizona’s defense for 22 points on 8-for-22 shooting. He also had nine rebounds, five on the offensive glass.

“He is so different because he gets his own miss about as well as any player I’ve seen,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “It almost sounds funny to say that, but if you watch him, he can get to the basket, miss his shot and get a second shot. He puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”

Ross wasn’t too shabby in the putback department either. Midway through the second half, he sailed over an Arizona defender and redirected Gant’s missed 3-pointer for an acrobatic layup that gave UW a 58-52 lead over the Wildcats (19-9, 10-5).

Minutes later, Wroten gathered a rebound and raced the length of the court before flushing a dunk over Arizona freshman forward Angelo Chol that put the Huskies (19-8, 12-3) up 62-54.

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