Arizona wins, 87-86. Darnell Gant hook blocked on UW final try ... very close to goal tending. But not called. And huge celebration as Cats pretty much knock Huskies out of Pac-10 regular season title chase.
Here was coach Lorenzo Romar's overview:
Well, that was a heck of a college basketball game. They played hard, they were scrappy. Derrick Williams obviously is a monster. I felt Momo Jones did a good job for them running their team. We, I think made too many mistakes on the defensive end that would prevent us from winning a game like this. Those that don’t know our defensive schemes wouldn’t know necessarily what mistakes were made. But we made a bunch of them, and they hurt us. Once they got up on us early we settled down and I thought we really did a good job playing basketball. Matthew was phenomenal tonight. He really played well. And C.J. off the bench played really well. With all of our mistakes we came up short by one point with a shot to win it at the buzzer. So, we still gave ourselves a chance. But you’ve got to give Arizona a lot of credit. They’re just steady, man, they don’t make a lot of mistakes.
0:17.5 Arizona leads, 87-86. Took lead on Hill putback after Darnell Gant block of Jesse Perry drive.
1:36 UW, 86-85.
3:59 Even, 80-80. MBA up to 24 points. His career-high is 30. Williams has 21 for Wildcats.
5:13 Back-to-back baskets by Williams -- plus a foul shot -- and Arizona noses back ahead, 78-76. Romar calls time. The joint is rocking.
7:38 Huskies, 72-68. Gant blocks Williams on drive after Zona time out. Then MBA spin basket for 20th point and 72-68 UW lead.
8:20 Washington takes its first lead on a Terrence Ross put back of an MBA miss.
9:15 Wilcox 3-pointer ties it at 68.
9:19 Arizona, 68-65. Thomas just had a 3-point shot to pull UW even for the first time since 0-0, but it went off the front rim.
MBA leads all scorers with
2nd/11:59 Series of pick and rolls from Thomas to MBA ... most no-look, all dazzling.
2nd/14:58 Arizona, 54-48.
2nd half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Arizona, 49-40. Wildcats have led the whole way.
Huskies shooting 52 percent, UA 44. Wildcats 20 rebounds, UW 11.
UW 9 assists, eight turnovers, six blocks, one steal.
UA 10 assists, eight turnovers, one block, four steals.
Wilcox 11 points, Thomas eight, MBA six with five rebounds.
Gant, the surprise starter ahead of N'Diaye had three points and one rebound in 11 minutes. N'Diaye had one rebound in six minutes.
Overton, starting in place of the injured Scott Suggs, has four points, no assists and two turnovers.
For UA, Williams 11 points and eight rebounds, Parrom nine points (and at a crucial time when UW was chipping away), Jones eight.
1st/3:41 Arizona, 37-29. Williams has nine, Thomas seven. C.J. Wilcox now leading UW with 10.
1st/6:32 Arizona leads 30-25, but Huskies seem to have weathered early storm for now.
1st/7:48 Arizona, 30-22. Williams has eight for the Wildcats. Thomas has six for the Huskies.
1st/9:44 Zona, 25-20. Huskies clawing back a bit with several Arizona subs in. Miller just sent some starters back.
1st/11:47 Four Wildcat 3-pointers. Arizona up, 25-15.
1st/15:58 Arizona 16-6. Fogg hits three, and is fouled, turning it into a four-point play.
N'Diaye in after surprise non-start.
1st/17:49 Arizona, 9-2. Romar time out as Wildcats score on first four possessions. The crowd, needless to say, is into it.
Tipoff: We're under way.
Lineup: We've just gotten the UW starting lineup and there is an additional change: Darnell Gant in place of Aziz N'Diaye in what is being called a "coach's decision." That means the Huskies are going with Thomas, Overton, Holiday, Gant and MBA.
One hour till tip: Both teams warming up. Huskies wearing back. Wildcats in white -- no surprise given the white-out promotion.
Good line from Arizona coach Sean Miller yesterday, as he said he would not be wearing white today for fear of looking like a marshmallow.
80 minutes till tipoff: This just in from up the road in Tempe: Arizona State 71, Washington State 69.
Pregame: Incredibly windy day here in Tucson. And things should be roaring inside McHale Arena in a couple of hours, too.
Reminder of the basics: Washington at league-leading Arizona, 3 p.m., sold out crowd, ESPN. As usual, we'll keep this blog open for pregame, in-game and postgame notes, quotes and comments.
Should be quite a day.