Huskies Lose Heartbreaker to Arizona
January 9, 1999
TUCSON, Ariz. - Jason Terry threw up an off-balance air ball but teammate Richard Jefferson caught it and tossed it in at the buzzer Saturday to give eighth-ranked Arizona an 88-86 victory over Washington.
Terry, who led the Wildcats (11-1, 3-1) with a career-high 30 points, couldn't get an open shot against Washington's Donald Watts at the finish and his desperate 18-footer was far short of the rim.
Jefferson was there to grab the ball, though, and scored from point-blank range as the game ended for Arizona's 24th consecutive homecourt victory.
A.J. Bramlett added 16 points, while Jefferson and Michael Wright scored 13 apiece for Arizona. Ruben Douglas added 11 points. Jefferson, Wright and Douglas all are freshmen.
Washington, considered a Pac-10 contender before the season began, fell to 7-6 overall, 0-3 in the conference. But the Huskies threw a major scare at the Wildcats, blowing open a 14-point lead in the first half and leading 47-45 at the break.
Freshman Senque Carey scored 19 to lead the Huskies, his career best by 10 points. Watts added 18 points and Deon Luton 13 for Washington, which stayed close to the Wildcats even though Todd MacCulloch, the Huskies' 7-foot, 280-pound center was on the bench much of the second half with foul trouble.
Neither team led by more than four in the second half before the Huskies went on an 8-0 run to go up 80-74 on Chris Walcott's rebound basket with 3:53 to play. MacCulloch, who had eight points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes, sank four free throws during the spurt.
Both teams missed crucial free throws in the final 46 seconds. Bramlett made one of two with 45.9 seconds to go to put the Wildcats up 86-85, then Carey hit one of two with 28.2 seconds left to tie it at 86.
Arizona coach Lute Olson called a 20-second timeout, and the Wildcats worked for the last shot.
Terry, who went 13 1/2 minutes without a field goal to start the game, scored 15 in the final 6:30 of the first half, 13 in the last 4:18, including three 3-pointers, as the Wildcats cut the lead to 47-45 at the break.
The Huskies, beaten by 24 Thursday night at Arizona State, used a 20-6 outburst to take a 31-17 lead on Watts' breakaway stuff with 8:17 left in the half. The Wildcats, frustrated by Washington's tight man-to-man defense, went four minutes without a field during the Huskies' surge.
Arizona came back with an 18-6 run to cut the lead to 39-37.
After the game, the Wildcats retired Steve Kerr's No. 25.
Kerr, the sharpshooting guard at Arizona from 1985 to 1988 and later with the NBA champion Chicago Bulls, saw his number raised to the McKale center rafters, only the second Wildcats' player to be so honored.
The other, Kerr's former teammate Sean Elliott, was on hand for the ceremony.
By BOB BAUM