SEATTLE – Washington (8-4, 1-0 Pac-12) got the conference season off to a strong start, defeating Arizona (4-8, 0-1 Pac-12), 55-52. The Dawgs led nearly the whole game, but let the Wildcats back into it, before getting the late baskets needed for a victory.
The Huskies did not trail until 2:18 left in the game as the Wildcats slowly whittled away a double-digit UW lead. Then, Aminah Williams scored back-to-back buckets as the Dawgs regained control. Williams was everywhere down the stretch finishing with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The Wildcats would get back within one, but would not score again as UW got the necessary stops. Jazmine Davis split two free throws two different times in the final 13 seconds to seal the victory.
Washington struggled shooting the ball all night, making just 16-59 (27.1 percent). Arizona switched defenses throughout the game, forcing the Dawgs into tough shots. The Dawgs did do a good job of getting the free throw line, earning 26 foul shots.
Kelsey Plum led all scorers with 23 points, including 9-12 from the free throw line. Plum also made 4-7 3-pointers as the freshman notched her fifth 20+ point game on the season. Williams was the only other Husky in double figures as UW leading scorer Davis had just nine points.
The Dawgs were outstanding on the defensive end, holding Arizona to just 33.3 percent shooting (21-63). Arizona was just 3-15 from beyond the 3-point arc, tied for the fewest 3’s allowed by Washington all season.
Washington jumped on the Wildcats early on, building a 20-6 lead over the first 9:27. Arizona cut the lead to nine at halftime, 30-21, heaving in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Washington rebuilt a double-digit margin, leading by 11 with 12:33 to play. The Wildcats then held UW to just three points over the next 5:50 to pull within four. From there it was Williams who willed Washington to victory. The junior forward scored the final two field goals and pulled down seven rebounds over the final 3:49 to give Washington extra chances and Arizona only one shot.
For the game, Arizona outrebounded the Dawgs, 45-44, but Williams more than doubled the Wildcats team on the boards over the final minutes.
Washington will be right back at it on Sunday when it hosts No. 24 Arizona State (11-2, 0-1 Pac-12) at 2 p.m. The Sun Devils were upset on Friday by Washington State and will be looking to avoid a winless road trip. The Dawgs will have their own motivation, having not defeated a ranked team since 2008.