Washington 81, Arizona 75
Quincy Pondexter scored 30 points and Venoy Overton sank six
free throws in the final minute to vault defending conference
champion Washington back into a wild Pac-10 race with an 81-75
victory over Arizona on Thursday night.
Overton made his deciding free throws in the final 49 seconds
for the Huskies (15-7, 5-5 Pac-10), after the Wildcats (11-10, 6-4)
battled back from 10 points down to within 73-71 late.
Second-place Washington, 0-6 on the road this season, improved
to 33-2 at home since the start of last season.
California, the conference’s co-leader entering the night, also
lost at Southern California. So victorious UCLA and Arizona State
are in a four-way tie with the Wildcats and Bears for the Pac-10
lead at 6-4.
Freshman Lamont Jones had 14 points for Arizona, which had won
their last four games. Leading scorer Nic Wise was just 4-for-17
from the field.
A fan threw something on the floor from the upper rows of the
arena just as the game was getting taut, with Washington leading
53-52 midway through the second half. Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar
stomped out of a huddle and berated the man throwing his arms up
and yelling “C’mon!”
The man was led out of the arena by police. Pondexter responded
He scored on a jump shot. Then he ran out as Wise threw away a
pass inside. Washington’s Scott Suggs tipped the ball to Pondexter
for a breakaway, soaring, two-handed slam that got the crowd
roaring. Pondexter added two free throws and a tip in off a carom
high off the backboard. His eight consecutive points had the
Huskies up 61-52 with 8:50 left.
Pondexter got a rude bump in his joyride with 5:42 left when
Arizona’s Kevin Parrom, his defender most of the night, elbowed him
in the ribs while fighting through Pondexter’s screen. Pondexter
rolled on the floor for a painful moment but stayed in the
So did Arizona.
The Wildcats went on a 14-3 run to get within 71-69 with 1:10
left on a 3-pointer by Wise, just his fourth make in 15 shots, and
a free throw by Kyle Fogg.
Arizona’s Alex Jacobson got the rebound on Fogg’s miss, but Wise
airballed a long jumper that would have tied it. Overton then made
two free throws with 49.5 seconds remaining to put the Huskies up
Fogg answered on a drive with 33.3 seconds left before Overton,
a 77 percent free-throw shooter, made two more with 30.4 seconds
Fogg bulled into Isaiah Thomas to earn two free throws, but he
only made one to keep Washington ahead 75-72.
Holiday’s long inbounds pass found Suggs for a dunk attempt.
Suggs was fouled by Parrom from behind and made seemingly clinching
free throws with 17.5 seconds remaining. But Fogg drove through
Thomas for a three-point play with 9.7 seconds to go to make it
Arizona then fouled Overton. The junior again made two free
throws, finishing 9 for 10 from the line – and finishing off the
Pondexter scored just seven points in Washington’s 17-point loss
at Arizona on Jan. 10, and Justin Holiday didn’t even make the trip
because of academic technicalities.
Holiday, a 6-foot-6 junior long on arms and tenacity, drew the
defensive assignment on Jamelle Horne after Horne had a career high
22 points on the Holiday-less Huskies in Tucson.
Horne took just two shots and scored two points while saddled
with foul trouble for much of his lost night.
Holiday did everything but place Arizona on its team bus to
begin the second half. He blocked Wise inside, then fed Tyreese
Breshers on the other end twice with deft passes for scores.
Holiday also blocked Kyryl Natyazhko inside despite giving up for
inches to the Ukrainian center while Washington turned a six-point
halftime deficit into a 48-41 lead in just 5 minutes.
Wise finished with 12 points. He scored a career-high 30 in
Arizona’s previous game, a win over Cal that put the surprising
Wildcats atop the Pac-10 this late in a season for the first time
Derrick Williams, Arizona’s second leading scorer, fouled out
without even playing 7 minutes. He finished with three points, all
on free throws in the foul-filled game that is typical of Pac-10
play this season.