Jan. 10, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -For most of his first season at Arizona, coach Sean Miller has been critical of his team. That wasn't the case on Sunday after the Wildcats beat No. 24 Washington 87-70.
"Overall, that's the best team effort of the year," said Miller, who came to Arizona after a successful run at Xavier. "With six players in double figures it talks about a team playing together and sharing the ball and a lot of individual players playing well. And we defended them well."
Junior Jamelle Horne led Arizona with a career-high 22 points, including two on a rarely seen, left-handed hook-jumper.
"That's just one in my repertoire," he said, smiling. "That's how it is when nights are going well. You put something up and it goes down. I'm going to take it and run down the court with a smile on my face."
Horne hit a career-high five 3-pointers in eight attempts for the Wildcats (8-8, 2-2 Pac-10).
For Washington, there aren't many smiles. The desert wasn't kind to the Huskies (10-5, 1-3) this weekend as they lost 67-51 at Arizona State on Friday night, their first sweep on the Arizona trip since 2003. It was Washington's worst loss of the season.
Isaiah Thomas had 18 points for Washington, while freshman Abdul Gaddy scored a season-high 13.
Arizona limited Washington to 44.2 percent shooting from the field. The Wildcats shot 50 percent, including 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range.
"Mental mistakes can be fixed," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We just need to work with repetition. Like in school, you go through things over and over until you get them. We've got to spend time working on those things."
Rebounding would be one. Arizona finished with a 40-23 advantage on the boards.
"That's definitely a problem we need to work on," Romar said.
Horne was one of six Arizona players to score in double figures. Nic Wise and Kyle Fogg both had 14 points, freshman Lamont Jones had a season-high 13, Derrick Williams had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Kevin Parrom added 10 points.
"People were getting on me for taking those 3s at the beginning of the year, but now they're going down and that's quieted that," Horne said of his 3-point shooting. "It's huge for our team when I can knock down those shots."
Horne entered the game hitting 42 percent of his 3-pointers this season, but entered the season hitting only 26 percent for his career.
"In the summertime Coach Miller said he let his 4-man go out and shoot the ball at Xavier," Horne said. "That's what makes (the small forwards) so hard to cover, when he can penetrate. My shots are going down and I have a ton of confidence.
"This is nothing new to us," Horne said of the team's offense. "When these guys came in this summer I knew they could score. I kept saying versatility, versatility, versatility and finally it's coming together with all these players scoring. They are peaking at the right time."
Arizona's largest lead of the game was 77-58 with 3 minutes remaining.
It didn't look like it would be an easy game for Arizona moments into the second half. Down 37-27 after Wise hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, Washington hit three consecutive shots, including two 3-pointers, in the opening 90 seconds of the second half to get within two points.
"We thought we had a chance to overtake them," Romar said. "We also thought that Arizona could fall behind by 20 and make a lot of baskets and come back. We thought we could come back."
But Arizona went on a 6-0 run, extending its lead to 43-35 on a basket by Parrom.
Gaddy, a former Arizona recruit who committed to the program but decided to sign with Washington because of the indecision and eventual retirement of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, was booed by the crowd every time he touched the ball.
"I knew the crowd was going to be into it," Gaddy said. "It's a tough place to play in. When I came out and the crowd booed me it kind of put a chip on my shoulder and I just played and I played hard."
Arizona freshman forward Solomon Hill fouled out with 12:10 to play and had no points and three rebounds.
After a 78-76 loss to Washington State on Friday, Arizona coach Sean Miller criticized his team for being terrible on defense. It was much improved on Sunday. Washington started the game hitting just two of 11 shots and found itself down 15-6 in the first 10 minutes.
Arizona's biggest lead in the first half was 27-14 on Fogg's layup with 5:41 left.
Fogg, Horne and Parrom Postgame