Huskies hold off Arizona
Washington managed a 76-65 win over Arizona on Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington decided to revisit an old cautionary tale Sunday against Arizona — the one about not letting up until the final buzzer.
The Huskies forgot the lesson many times during nonconference play. After a second-half refresher course Sunday, UW managed a 76-65 Pac-12 win at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Kristi Kingma and Aminah Williams helped the Huskies build a 58-35 lead after a 21-4 run to open the second half. But then UW fell into a lull as the Wildcats matched the run. But the closest Arizona could get was four points in the last four minutes of the game.
"I think if we would have kept that lead you'd have more of a bigger (happy) reaction," said Kingma, who scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half. "But we let it go."
UW coach Kevin McGuff worked with his staff during timeouts to find a defensive scheme to stop the Wildcats' run.
The Huskies committed silly fouls during the stretch, giving the Wildcats eight points from the free-throw line. UW also shot 2 for 12 from the field during Arizona's run after building the 23-point lead on 50 percent shooting.
"We switched up the press offense just to kind of move people around," McGuff said. "But mostly it was we just had to gather ourselves and get our concentration back, our energy and our aggressiveness."
Arizona was down 66-62 after a layin by junior Erica Barnes with 2:18 left in the game. Sophomore Jazmine Davis hit a jumper and Kingma made two free throws as UW regained control of the game.
Otherwise, it was an offensive showcase by redshirt freshman Talia Walton.
The 6-foor-2 forward has a propensity to hang around the three-point line for shots. On Sunday, she drove to the hoop, nailed smooth pull-up jumpers and hit turnaround jumpers to finish with a season-high 20 points. Walton also had a season-high 13 rebounds.
Davis finished with 20 points despite vomiting before the game and at halftime due to a bad breakfast, she said. Senior Davellyn Whyte led Arizona (9-5, 1-1 Pac-12) with 17 points.
"Talia doesn't play like a freshman," said Kingma, who was out with Walton last year due to knee injuries. "She had the opportunity to practice every day last year (playing the role of) the best player on the scout team. That gave her a lot of confidence."
The Huskies (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12) swept their weekend start in conference play for the first time since the program's 2006-07 season under former coach June Daugherty. Washington was 5-0 to open the conference schedule that year before it lost to then-No. 13 Arizona State.
Washington could have trouble matching the feat this season. It travels to play the Los Angeles schools this week, including No. 16 UCLA (11-2, 2-0).
But UW did learn a lesson.
"It's going to affect us as we move ahead," said Williams of blowing most of the second-half lead. "We need to keep up the intensity and concentrate on that."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans
Attendance: 2,043. Officials: Lisa Jones, Cathi Cornell, Shelley Nakasone.