UA 76, WSU 72: Senior partnership

Arizona trio makes closing statement in win over Cougars
2012-02-17T00:02:00Z 2014-07-24T10:46:02Z UA 76, WSU 72: Senior partnershipBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 17, 2012 12:02 am  • 

PULLMAN, Wash. - All the ingredients for an Arizona Wildcats' loss were there.

En route to a 76-72 win over Washington State, the Wildcats encountered an adrenaline-free, relatively quiet atmosphere at Beasley Coliseum.

They stumbled around, characteristically, at the beginning of both halves.And a newly emerged standout from Australia, WSU forward Brock Motum, kept getting everybody in foul trouble.

But, no matter all that, here was what UA seniors Kyle Fogg, Brendon Lavender and Jesse Perry saw: Only four more regular-season games remained in their college career after Thursday.

All three played like every minute mattered. Immensely.

Fogg recorded his first career double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Lavender sank 5 of 7 three-pointers and Perry fought through foul trouble to collect 14 points to ensure that the Wildcats hung on for their fifth straight win.

"He's a senior, he's been at it a long time and he's playing the best basketball of his career," said Miller, who was talking about Lavender but also referred to Fogg and Perry in the same breath. "That's what you hope you can say - that down the stretch of their senior year they were at their best."

Fittingly, the trio closed out the game in the final seconds. Perry made a go-ahead three-point play with 38 seconds left, and the Wildcats sealed the win with a pair of free throws each by Fogg and Lavender.

The win moved Arizona to 19-8 overall and 10-4 in the Pac-12 heading into a showdown at Washington on Saturday in Seattle. The Cougars dropped to 13-13 overall and 5-9 in the Pac-12.

"It felt good," Fogg said. "We expected a tough game and we're becoming more and more together every practice, and every game. Tonight's just another representation of that."

While Fogg said his double-double was "definitely a memorable moment," he nearly had it spoiled after a late defensive effort against Motum.

The teams entered the final two minutes tied at 67, before Perry scored inside to give the Wildcats a two-point lead with 1:21 left. But Reggie Moore hit two free throws with 1:04 left to tie the game back up entering the final minute.

Then, after Perry made his three-point play to put UA ahead 72-69, Fogg was guarding Motum at the three-point line when officials ruled there was contact.

After viewing the monitors, they ruled Motum was shooting a three-pointer, instead of a two. That gave Motum a chance to tie the game but the big Australian missed his first two free throws and, after he cut the lead to just two, the Cougars were forced to foul.

Fogg then came back to hit two free throws with 19 seconds left and Lavender hit another two with 10 seconds left to finish with a team-high 17 points.

"That was a great game, and everyone contributed," Lavender said.

Fogg was hardly the only Wildcat to earn a foul while dealing with Motum.

Perry picked up his third and fourth fouls within the first minute of the second half, sending Motum to the line on a three-point play just 13 seconds into the half, after UA had taken a 40-39 halftime lead.

Then Angelo Chol drew his third foul with 15:41 left and his fourth with 11:19 left, both times against Motum. That led to backup center Kyryl Natyazhko's first appearance in the past four games.

But - guess who? - Motum took Natyazhko out to the wing with about eight minutes left and fired up a three-pointer over him, and Natyazhko lasted just two minutes while Miller played Perry for nine minutes with four fouls.

Overall, Motum took a career-high 18 free-throw attempts, though he made only 10.

"If you shoot 18 free throws in a game, you're dominating the game on that stat alone," Miller said. "We're fortunate that he's a better free-throw shooter than maybe he showed, but he's very aggressive. And for us to play a whole second half with Jesse Perry having four fouls was a tough situation for us. I'm really proud of the way our team responded."    

Up next

• What: Arizona at Washington

• When: 1 p.m. Saturday

• TV; radio: FSAZ; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Arizona 8 1 0 0.889 20 2 0 0.909
Utah 6 2 0 0.750 16 4 0 0.800
Stanford 6 2 0 0.750 15 5 0 0.750
Oregon 5 4 0 0.556 15 7 0 0.682
Oregon State 5 4 0 0.556 13 7 0 0.650
Colorado 4 4 0 0.500 11 8 0 0.579
UCLA 4 4 0 0.500 12 9 0 0.571
Washington State 3 5 0 0.375 9 11 0 0.450
Washington 3 5 0 0.375 14 6 0 0.700
Arizona State 3 6 0 0.333 12 11 0 0.522
California 2 6 0 0.250 12 9 0 0.571
USC 1 7 0 0.125 9 11 0 0.450

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 68-67
Oregon State at
1/30 34-57
Stanford at
Washington State
1/31 6:00 pm
Colorado at
1/31 8:30 pm
Utah at
2/1 12:30 pm
California at
2/1 1:00 pm
Washington at
2/4 7:00 pm
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