Pac-12 basketball: No. 8 Arizona holds off Washington
Seattle • Because they knew the importance of what beating No. 8 Arizona would mean, the Washington Huskies were left deflated and demoralized.
Instead of a season-saving victory, the Huskies are riding a four-game losing streak for the first time in five years with no certainty about when it will end.
"Right now, tonight, our guys are really down. Our guys know that we came out ready to play," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "When you come out and you realize you didn't give it your all, that's tough. But when you fight like we did tonight and you come up short, it takes more than a couple hours to get over that."
Nick Johnson had 15 points, five in the final 2 minutes, and Arizona rallied from an early deficit for an ugly 57-53 victory Thursday night that snapped a three-game losing streak to the Huskies.
Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill both added 10 points for the Wildcats, who won their second straight after losing at home to UCLA.
It's a victory that won't be remembered for the quality of play, but a gritty effort from Sean Miller's club that easily could have found itself in a major hole after a sloppy first half.
C.J. Wilcox, the leading scorer in the Pac-12 in conference games, was limited to just 11 points through a combination of foul trouble and harassing defense by Johnson. Scott Suggs added 11 points for the Huskies, but Washington (12-9, 4-4 Pac-12) made just 1 of 12 3-point attempts, missed seven free throws and committed 17 turnovers.
"It's frustrating. It's surprising cause it's at home," Wilcox said. "Sometimes that's how it works. You have to find a way to win the ball game. I feel like we had a chance to win the game we just had to execute."