Say one thing for the unpredictable Washington Huskies, they’ve been remarkably consistent when it comes to their offensive output against Arizona.
They scored 53 points in a four-point defeat on Jan. 31 at Hec Ed and they scored 52 points in an 18-point shellacking Wednesday at McKale Center.
You had to figure Washington would have difficulty generating points against the No. 12 team, which was playing at home in front of a sold-out crowd of 14,545 and a nationally televised ESPN2 audience.
At the end of the lopsided 70-52 beatdown, the Huskies (14-13, 6-8) were playing for pride while the Wildcats (22-4, 10-4) had much bigger stakes on the line. They’re still in the running for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Some notable observations and statistics:
— The late 9 p.m. start and a snowstorm didn’t keep the crowd away. The building was packed and loud minutes before tip off.
— Washington was 1 of 11 on three-pointers and 0 for 8 in the second half. The one three-pointer made tied a season low set in the first game against Arizona.
— The Huskies were 26.5 percent (9 of 34) from the field in the second half.
— Arizona had eight blocks.
— The Wildcats also had 10 fast-break points, the Huskies two.
Washington had to be near perfect to hang with Arizona and for about 14 minutes the Huskies were in the game. The score was tied 18-18 when Solomon Hill converted a layup that gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish.
After the 18-18 tie, Washington was outscored 15-7 to finish the first half and trailed 33-25 at the break. The second half began with an Abdul Gaddy that resulted in a Arizona basket. That scenario was repeated many times.
After 6 1/2 minutes, Arizona built a 49-29 lead. That’s when coach Lorenzo Romar called a timeout and went ballistic on the sidelines.
Some say it was long overdue. Others will argue what’s the point. There’s four games remaining in the regular season and likely five total for this 2012-13 campaign. Might as well save your breath and get ready for next season.
But Romar refuses to give up on the Huskies and he doesn’t expect them to give up on each other.
“I think so far our group has done a good job not finger pointing and I don’t think that will happen with them,” he said.
When asked if he plans on personnel changes, Romar said: “We’ve made changes. I don’t want to have the knee jerk reaction and change everything. We were playing the No. 12 team in the country on their home court. In that situation you can’t afford to come out in the second half and not compete at a high level. It hasn’t been our identity.”
Say what you will about the Huskies during this disappointing season, they haven’t been blown out many times. It happened during a 73-55 defeat to Colorado State and it happened Wednesday. You might also throw in the 77-66 loss to Ohio State. But that’s it. Every other loss has been closely contested, even the 71-60 loss at USC.
It’s a testament to just how far the defending Pac-12 regular-season champions have fallen when the best thing you can say about them is they lose lots of close games.
But now that last little bit of positivity has been stripped away.
So where do the Huskies go from here? They’re 2-8 in the last 10 games after starting the Pac-12 season 4-0. Saturday’s contest at Arizona State is their last true road game before finishing with a three-game homestand.
If the season ended today, Washington would be the No. 9 seed against No. 8 Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament. The winner would play No. 1 seed Oregon in the quarterfinals. To make the NCAA tourneys, the Huskies would need to do what’s never been done – win four games at the Pac-12 Tourney.
Judging from tonight, you have to wonder if Washington will win another game this season?