Tucson, Ariz. ?- Washington (12-4, 5-0 Pac-10) held off a near second half comeback by Arizona (6-10, 0-4 Pac-10) to earn an 83-66 win over the Wildcats on Thursday night in McKale Center. The win gives the Huskies their ninth consecutive, as the loss is Arizona’s fifth straight.
Arizona trailed by as many as 16 early in the second half, but put together a 13-3 run over 4:24 and trailed 60-54 with 8:12 left to play in the game. The Huskies responded with a 21-8 run of their own to pull away down the stretch.
“I thought first of all that we played much harder tonight,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We needed to play a lot harder, and we did that tonight. The biggest thing is to get our confidence back. Even though we lost, we are getting back on track.”
The Wildcats finished the game shooting 33.3 percent (20-60) from the field, with a 4-of-18 mark (22.2 percent) mark from three point range, while shooting a season-high 84.6 percent (22-26) from the free throw line. Washington shot 49. 2 percent (17-35) from the field, including an 8-of-17 mark (47.1 percent) from behind the arc.
Arizona out-rebounded Washington 36-34, and finished with 10 steals.
Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth led all scorers with a career-high 31 points on 10-of-24 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Whitney Fields posted six points and eight rebounds (seven offensive), and sophomore Amina Njonkou added seven points and seven rebounds.
Senior guard Cameo Hicks finished with 18 points, three rebounds, and six assists for Washington.
Arizona hung close with Washington for much of the first half, trailing 26-22 after two free throws by Fields with 5:00 left before halftime. Washington expanded its lead to 37-27 with 2:44 left to play in the first on a layup by Breanne Watson, and led 41-33 at the half. Arizona shot 38.7 percent (12-31) from the floor in the first half, compared to a 48.6 percent (17-35) mark for the Huskies.
UW ran out to a 57-41 lead at the 12:38 mark in the second half, but Arizona responded with a 13-3 run in the next 4:24, holding the Huskies without a field goal for over three minutes to cut the deficit to 60-54 with 8:12 left. The Wildcats would get no closer than that as Washington outscored Arizona 23-12 the rest of the way for the 17-point win. Arizona shot 27.6 percent (8-29) from the field in the second half, including a 1-of-10 mark from three point range. Washington shot 50.0 percent (15-30) after halftime.
Arizona will next host Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. in McKale Center.