TUCSON, Ariz. – With a once-big lead down to two and the crowd louder than any he had heard before, Washington freshman Tony Wroten found a way to shut everything out and carry his team to what could be a season-defining victory.
He had already done it at Madison Square Garden, so why not Arizona’s McKale Center as well?
Wroten added to his growing list of game-changing plays, swooping in to swat Josiah Turner’s layup at the buzzer to preserve Washington’s 69-67 win over Arizona on Saturday night.
“He’s been that way all year,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “At Madison Square Garden against Duke, he took over. He just has no problem taking a game and putting it on his shoulders.”
Quiet because of foul trouble in the first half, Wroten took over at times in the second, scoring 12 of his 17 points. Terrence Ross scored 13 of his 16 points in the half.
Leading by 11 with just less than 6 minutes left, Washington (14-7, 7-2 Pac-12) seemed to be in control before Arizona rallied to tie the game at 67 on Solomon Hill’s 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left.
The Huskies got the ball in quickly to C.J. Wilcox, who immediately drew a blocking foul on Turner. Wilcox, in his second game back from a hip injury, calmly hit both free throws to give him 15 points and put the Huskies up two.
Arizona inbounded the ball to Turner after Wilcox’s second free throw, and he appeared to have an open lane for the tying basket. Wroten didn’t let him get there.
Charging from the top of the key, he lined up Turner’s layup and leaped to the right side of the lane. Wroten swatted Turner’s shot off the backboard a split second before the buzzer.
“I was kind of shocked how the game ended,” Wroten said.
So were the Wildcats.
Arizona (14-8, 5-4) was sloppy with the ball, committing 15 turnovers, and couldn’t keep Washington off the glass, giving up 18 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second-chance points.
The Wildcats clawed their way back behind Hill, who scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half, but they came up just short.
“Washington’s individual players made plays, rebounded and forced turnovers in order to get the win,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said.
Washington (14-7, 7-2)—Simmons 1-3 0-2 3, N’Diaye 6-11 0-3 12, Gaddy 1-3 0-0 2, Wroten 5-18 5-7 17, Ross 7-12 0-1 16, Wilcox 6-10 2-3 15, Seferian-Jenkins 1-3 0-0 2, Gant 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 28-63 7-16 69.
Arizona (14-8, 5-4)—Perry 3-14 7-10 13, Hill 9-10 8-9 28, Turner 3-9 2-2 8, Johnson 1-4 0-0 2, Fogg 2-4 1-2 7, Parrom 2-3 3-6 7, Mayes 0-3 0-0 0, Lavender 1-2 0-0 2, Chol 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 21-29 67.
Halftime—Arizona 32-29. 3-Point Goals—Washington 6-14 (Ross 2-4, Wroten 2-4, Simmons 1-1, Wilcox 1-3, Gant 0-1, Gaddy 0-1), Arizona 4-13 (Hill 2-2, Fogg 2-4, Parrom 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Mayes 0-1, Lavender 0-1, Perry 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Washington 39 (N’Diaye 8), Arizona 36 (Perry 12). Assists—Washington 14 (Gaddy 5), Arizona 9 (Fogg 3). Total Fouls—Washington 22, Arizona 13. A—14,604.
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