Arizona’s top three scorers took turns helping the Wildcat offense get back on track in a 70-52 win over Washington tonight at McKale Center.
Solomon Hill had 19 points and six rebounds, while Mark Lyons had 14 points and Nick Johnson 12 points with five assists in Arizona’s easiest win since a Feb. 2 victory at Washington State.
Together, the Wildcats shot 47.1 percent from the field while holding Washington to 30.8-percent shooting.
Arizona was trailing 11-8 early before Lyons scored 10 points over 90 seconds in the first half, while Hill scored most of his 16 points late in the first half. Early in the second, Nick Johnson heated up offensively to put the game away.
Meanwhile, UA center Kaleb Tarczewski collected 10 points and seven rebounds.
The win moved Arizona to 22-4 overall and 10-4 in the Pac-12, where the Wildcats are a game in the loss column behind first-place Oregon. Washington dropped to 14-13 and 6-8.
The Wildcats had lost two of their previous three games, and looked shaky in the win – a 68-64 win at Utah on Sunday. But Washington has struggled even more, losing seven of it last nine before Wednesday.
Johnson all but put the Huskies out of their misery tonight, scoring nine points over a four-minute span that put UA ahead 49-29 with 13:42 left. After having missed his five field goals in the first half, Johnson warmed up with a couple of easy baskets inside before making two more layups and a three-pointer during his streak.
Johnson’s scoring helped Arizona begin the second half on an 11-4 run to take a 44-29 lead at the first media timeout (15:57). They held the Huskies to 2 of 8 shooting and forced two turnovers.
While Johnson missed all five shots he took in the first half, it was his backcourt mate, Lyons, who took over first. Lyons scored 10 quick points in the middle of the first half to wake up a stagnant Arizona offense and help the Wildcats take a 33-25 halftime lead.
Lyons finished with 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting while teammate Solomon Hill led all scorers in the first half with 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Lyons’ scoring spree put UA up 18-16 with 6:37 left when he hit hit second three-pointer, then it was Hill’s turn. Hill scored 10 points over the final six minutes of the half while Arizona built its lead to eight points, then added another quick bucket in the second half when Arizona outscored UW 6-1 in the first 1:46 after halftime.
Two of Hill’s 19 points came on technical free throws, after Washington’s Aziz N’Diaye was whistled for a technical after shoving UA’s Kevin Parrom.
The two seniors helped UA overcome scoreless first-half efforts from Johnson (0 for 5 from the field), Parrom (0-2) and Grant Jerrett (0-2).
Early in the game, both teams played tough defense, much as they did in UA’s 57-53 win in Seattle on Jan. 31. Arizona hit 35.7 percent from the field while Washington was at 35.5 percent.
Arizona outrebounded the Huskies 23-17 before halftime, however.
The Wildcats’ offense struggled early against Washington’s defense, which forced them to go deep into the shot clock several times. UA managed just eight points through nearly the first 12 minutes before Lyons began his 10-point spurt.
Arizona trailed 7-5 at the first media timeout (14:59). The Wildcats made just two of their first seven shots and turned the ball over twice to that point, while being forced to go deep into the shot clock several times.
UA tried entering lightly used Gabe York ahead of Jordin Mayes off the bench at guard, but York did not take a shot in four minutes. Mayes did not play at all in the first half but did get in the second half.
York finished with three points on 1 of 2 three-point shooting.