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Cats, Huskies Face Off on ESPN Saturday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/18/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 18, 2011

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Date: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011
Time: 4 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler/Jimmy Dykes)
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio

Click HERE to view game on espn3.com

GAME DATA: Twelfth-ranked Arizona (22-4, 11-2 Pac-10) hosts Washington (18-7, 10-4 Pac-10) Saturday at McKale Center in a nationally televised affair on ESPN ... Expect quite a match-up all the way around, as the Huskies and Wildcats rank 1-2 in the Pac-10 in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, three-point FG percentage, three-point FG percentage defense, rebound margin and three-point field goals made ... In the last four series games played in McKale Center - all UA wins - Arizona has averaged 90.3 points per game and won by an average of 17.8 points ... Since 2003-04, there have only been two season sweeps (Washington, 2004/Arizona 2007) ... In this series, the winner has scored at least 75 points in 22 of the last 23 meetings.

THE RANKINGS: Arizona is ranked 12th in this week's Associated Press poll and 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. UA's placement in the current AP top 25 is the highest this season for a Pac-10 team in the media poll.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 158-66 (.705) and 38-19 (.667) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 1-2 vs. Washington as a head coach.

LAST TIME OUT: Led by Derrick Williams, Arizona outshot (.481-.433) and outrebounded Washington State (35-28) on the way to a 79-70 win Thursday. Williams connected on 7-of-10 field goals and 12-of-12 free throws to lead a UA effort that connected on 24-of-26 free throws and outscored WSU, 24-11, from the stripe. Williams finished with 26 points and a game-high eight boards, while Solomon Hill added 12 points and five rebounds and Kyle Fogg passed out a season-high seven assists.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies enter today's game with an 18-7 record (10-4 Pac-10) following a 79-62 win Thursday at Arizona State. On the season, Washington averages 85.6 points, shoots 48.0 percent from the floor (783-of-1631), 38.7 percent (239-of-617) from three-point range and 65.8 percent (336-of-511) from the line. Opponents average 69.8 points, are outrebounded by 5.3 boards per game and shoot 41.6 percent from the floor (600-of-1442). Individually, three UW players average in double-figures, led by Isaiah Thomas' 16.8 points per game figure. Matthew Bryan-Amaning leads Washington with an 8-0 rebounds per game average.

THE SERIES: Today's game marks the 69th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 43-25 series advantage. The teams have split the last 14 meetings, but Washington captured the last, 85-68 in Seattle on Jan. 20. All-time, Arizona is 25-6 in series games played in Tucson, 17-17 in Seattle, Wash., and 1-2 in neutral site games. For more series information, please see page 46 in the UA media guide.

LAST MEETING: Washington 85, Arizona 68, Jan. 20, 2011: Arizona battled for as long as it could before the Cats were eventually worn down by Washington. UA took its last lead, 44-43, with 16 minutes to go, before UW eventually pulled away outscoring the visitors by 12 points over the last nine minutes. Isaiah Thomas was the difference, totaling 22 points and 11 assists to lead Washington, which shot 52 percent from the field and posted a +9 rebound margin in the second half. Derrick Williams paced Arizona with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

MILESTONES APLENTY: Sophomore Derrick Williams netted 26 points Thursday and now has scored 506 for the season, becoming the 35th player (accomplished 50 times) in Arizona history to score 500 or more points in a single season. Additionally, the 6-foot-8 forward from La Mirada, Calif., is just eight points shy of 1,000 for his career. Should Williams score eight or more points today, he would become the 45th player ion school history to score 1,000 career points, and just the seventh sophomore to accomplish the feat. Here is the list with Williams' current totals included for reference:

Name    	Accomplished	Points	Avg.	Games 
Coniel Norman	   1973-74	1,194	23.9	  50
Bob Elliott	   1974-75	1,106	20.1	  55
Sean Elliott	   1986-87	1,077	17.4	  62
Mike Bibby	   1997-98	1,061	15.4	  69
Gilbert Arenas	   2000-01	1,105	15.8	  70
Chase Budinger	   2007-08	1,067	16.4	  65
Derrick Williams   2010-11	  992	17.4	  57

Foggy Bottom:  Arizona connected on 24-of-26 free throw attempts (.923) Thursday night, narrowly missing out on a chance to break a 60-year-old school record for single-game free throw percentage (min. 20 attempts).  That record was originally set on Dec. 15, 1951, when the Cats made 26-of-27 (.963) vs. San Diego Navy.  Thursday vs. Washington State, Arizona actually made its first 23 attempts in the contest before Kyle Fogg missed the back end of two shots at 2:22 and 0:31 to end the chase.  It's not often that you'd mention a player for his misses, but such liberties can be taken because he's a good-natured guy.  As Fogg said postgame, "Coach told us we were 24-of-26 from the free throw line and I know I missed two. I was hoping no one called me out on it."

College Boards:  Arizona's ability to control the boards Thursday was one of Arizona's keys to victory, as it posted a 35-28 advantage on the boards, including 18-12 in the second half.  Four Wildcats grabbed at least five rebounds - including Kyle Fogg and Lamont Jones, who each grabbed a season-high five - in the tilt as Arizona outrebounded its 18th opponent in 26 games.  All told, Arizona is 17-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition and UA ranks second in the Pac-10 and 37th nationally with a +5.1 rebound margin.

Block Party:  The number might not seem like much, but the Wildcats equaled a season-high with five blocks on Thursday, a figure nearly double its 2.7 blocks per game average.  It was just the fifth time in Pac-10 play, and first time in four games, that Arizona had more blocked shots than the opposition.  In true UA fashion this season, five different players registered blocks against the Cougars..

Ball Security:  Sometimes, holding your own is enough.  Thursday against Washington State, Arizona matched the visitors with 12 turnovers.  On the season, Arizona is 14-1 when committing the same or fewer turnovers than the opposition.  It continues to be head scratching at times to see the Wildcats continue to win games - 11-2 in Pac-10 play - despite a -2.5 turnover margin in conference play.

Consistently Good:  Arizona limited Washington State to 26-of-30 shooting (.433) Thursday, a figure that included identical 13-of-30 marks in the first and second halves.  Such a figure is about what UA allows on average this season (619-of-1449/.427), which ranks sixth in the conference.  The effort did allow Arizona to outshoot WSU (.481-.433), and that number has a tendency to loom large, as Arizona is 15-1 this season when outshooting the opposition.

Close for Comfort:  Through 26 games, Arizona outscores opponents by an average of 11.7 points per game.  All told, 16 of UA's 26 games have been decided by more than 10 points.  As witnessed by last night's nine-point win, Arizona is pretty good at winning the close ones, too, as the club is now 8-2 in games decided by 10 points or less.

Helping in other Ways:  Sure, he may have missed a few free throws (see above), but Kyle Fogg certainly had a positive impact in Thursday's win.  The 6-foot-3 junior guard posted nine points and season-high totals of five rebounds and seven assists (against one turnover) in what was a season-best 33 minutes.  He also added a team-high two steals in the contest.  On the season, Fogg is averaging 8.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and leads the team with a 2.9 assists per game average.

A Milestone of his Own:  En route to seven assists against the Cougars, Kyle Fogg passed the 200-assist plateau for his career.  The Brea, Calif., native now has 203 helpers in his 92-game career (2.2 apg).  It marked the sixth time this season (10th career) that Fogg has registered five or more assists in a single game.  He posted a 7:1 assist:turnover ratio on Thursday and improved his team-leading ratio to 1.95:1.  His 76 assists this season is easily a career high.

All-Around Effort:  Sophomore Solomon Hill put forth a solid all-around effort Thursday, posting 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot vs. Washington State.  The 6-foot-6, 226-pound forward equaled season-high totals with 5-of-9 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc.  It was his ninth game in double figures this season, which is a career high.  Overall, Hill averages 8.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Make Them Count:  Forward Derrick Williams connected on 12-of-12 free throw attempts Thursday to boost his season percentage to .749 (179-of-239).  It marked the 13th time this season - but first since his right hand injury on Jan. 27 - that Williams has attempted 10 or more free throws in a single game, and was the fifth time he made 10 or more in a game.  Williams' 9.2 free throw attempts per game and his 239 total attempts lead the nation.

Random Thoughts:  Arizona's 17 assists Thursday equaled the fourth highest total for the Cats this season, and were the most for the team in Pac-10 play ... UA is 20-0 when leading at the half this season ... Wildcat starters connected on a combined 21-of-39 (.538) attempts from the field on Thursday ... Kevin Parrom is averaging 10.2 ppg over his last five games ... Over his last nine games, Jesse Perry is averaging 8.6 points to go with a .517 (31-of-60) field goal percentage.

Scoring 80:  Arizona scored 107 points Feb. 5 at California, topping the 80-point plateau for the 11th time this year (11-0).  Arizona has scored 80 in eight of 13 home games this season.  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 197-19 (.912) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.   Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.

Early Signees:  The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period.  Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.

Up Next:  Following today's game, the Wildcats hit the road for the final time in the regular season.  The road trip to Southern California begins Thursday, Feb. 24, with a game at USC.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. PST and can be seen on KWBA-TV and FCS Pacific.

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