TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Solomon Hill had 19 points, Mark Lyons added 14 and No. 12 Arizona pulled away after an uninspired start to beat Washington 70-52 Wednesday night.
Whether it was the late tipoff or the rare snowstorm outside, Arizona (22-4, 10-4 Pac-12) was sluggish at the start, needing nearly 12 minutes just to crack double figures. Once they got rolling, the Wildcats didn’t stop, revving up the rowdy crowd inside McKale Center with fastbreak layups and tenacious defense.
Nick Johnson added 12 points, five assists and keyed a second-half run that put the game out of reach.
Washington (14-13, 6-8) failed to take advantage of Arizona’s slow start thanks to a tough night on offense.
The Huskies shot 30 percent and were 1 of 11 from 3-point range to lose their fifth straight road game. C.J. Wilcox had 15 points and Abdul Gaddy added 12.
The Wildcats and Huskies played a brutal game in Seattle on Jan. 31, combining to miss 26 3-pointers while neither team hit 60 points.
Arizona won it 57-53, overcoming 17 turnovers and a 3-for-18 night from the arc behind one of its better defensive efforts of the season. The Wildcats held Wilcox to 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting and the Huskies to 1 of 12 from 3-point range to pull out the not-so-pretty victory.
This one was just as ugly in the beginning.
Going deep into the shot clock on many of its possessions, Arizona had a stretch over 4 minutes without a field goal and didn’t crack double figures until the 8:07 mark of the first half. The Wildcats had another four-minute lull between field goals before Lyons got them rolling with a pair of 3-pointers wrapped around two free throws.
The Huskies weren’t exactly sharp on offense, playing well in spurts, but mostly struggling against Arizona’s defense.
Washington had trouble even getting looks from the 3-point line — 1 for 3 in the first half — and missed plenty of shots around the rim, going 11 for 31 in the first half.
The Wildcats were 10 for 28 from the floor, but led 33-25 with the assist of a technical foul on Washington center Aziz N’Diaye for tossing Arizona’s Kevin Parrom to the floor in a loose-ball scrum.
Johnson made sure the Huskies didn’t make up any ground to start the second half. He scored on the break after a pair of bounce passes from Lyons, knocked down a 3-pointer and added another layup in transition.
Johnson’s nine points in the first 6 minutes of the half pushed Arizona’s lead to 49-29.
The Wildcats gave Washington no shot at the comeback, forcing the Huskies to miss all eight of their 3-pointers in the second half after allowing the previous three opponents to hit a combined 22 of 45.