Big second-half run lifts Washington past Arizona 68-59
A 20-2 run lifts Huskies in the desert
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TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona celebrated dog day Sunday, when fans were permitted to bring Fluffy to the game as long as the pets' business breaks were taken on the grassy areas outside McKale Center.
Did Arizona forget it was playing the Huskies?
"I did not get bit by a dog, I'm happy to report," Washington coach Kevin McGuff said.
Someone else did.
Washington gained a split on its Arizona trip and took a step toward a higher seed in the Pac-12 postseason tournament with a 68-59 victory over the Wildcats, sweeping the season series while overcoming a 12-point first-half deficit in its final road game of the regular season.
"This was a really important game for us. We needed to get this win and kind of build some momentum as we head toward the end of the year," McGuff said.
Washington (14-11, 6-9 Pac-12) moved into a tie with Oregon for eighth place in the Pac-12, and the Huskies finish the regular season with home games against Washington State on Sunday and the Los Angeles schools the following weekend.
Regina Rogers had 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists while dominating the interior before fouling out with 3:08 remaining. She made 10 of 13 free-throw attempts and has an even 1,000 career points, including her time at UCLA.
"I'm excited. A lot of people don't get that. It's a special honor," Rogers said.
Jazmine Davis, a freshman-of-the-year candidate in the Pac-12, had 17 points after a slow start and Mollie Williams had seven points and tied a career high with 13 rebounds as the Huskies had a 48-36 advantage on the boards.
Davis and Mercedes Wetmore had three-pointers around two free throws by Rogers in an 8-0 run that gave Washington the lead at 49-47 with 8 ½ minutes remaining.
That began a 20-2 spurt in which Davis had another three-pointer and both she and Rogers had conventional three-point plays.
"We made some plays in the second half. We made some shots, and that's what you have to do if you want to win on the road," McGuff said.
"We got together at the beginning of the second half and said we need to step up, share the ball and hit the open shots. That's what we did," Rogers said.
"Jaz got into it. She's a big scorer, and when she is not scoring it is harder for us to get into our offense. She stepped up in the second half, which is what we needed."
Arizona (14-13, 3-12) has lost nine of its past 10, its only victory a 90-51 blitz of Washington State on Thursday.
Shanita Arnold led Arizona with 19 points and Davellyn Whyte had 16.
Williams, who did not start but played 26 minutes, also had three blocked shots. Her interior presence helped the Huskies offset foul trouble to Rogers and forward Mackenzie Argens, who was limited to 19 minutes
"Mollie got a lot of tough rebounds. She might have been the key for us today," McGuff said.
With a strong finish, the Huskies could move up to the first division by tournament time.
Oregon State and UCLA have seven losses, Utah has eight and Oregon and Colorado have nine. The Oregon schools next week face Stanford and California, first and second in the league, and finish with Utah and Colorado.
Attendance: 1774. Officials: Michael Price, Darren Krzesnik, Lorena Ahumada.