Wildcats’ Fortitude Holds For The “W”

Posted on February 20, 2011 by

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Could The Wildcats Be Returning To This Sort Of Dominance?

Defense won what was a Knight’s Tale of a game and Arizona has slain the big bad Pac-10 monster. With an All-American-type parry of UW’s attempted final killing blow, the Wildcats survive and rest a bit easier atop the Pac-10.

The Arizona Wildcats took on the Washington Huskies yesterday, February 19th, 2011, in McKale Center, a long-awaited matchup since last month’s meeting in Seattle, WA handed the Wildcats a bruiser 17-point loss. However, the Wildcats have yet to lose since, including last nights rematch.

In a game that might aptly be characterized as “street ball,” where the referees swallowed their whistles for the entirety of the second half, the Wildcats and Derrick Williams, in particular, stepped up to show their strength, determination, and fortitude.

The win is our 8th in a row. It set the mark at 16-0 at home for the Wildcats and a season record of 23-4.

Derrick Williams was pushed, elbowed, hacked, and probably much more during the game fighting a Washington back court that outsized him height-wise making his task of guarding and scoring in the paint quite the challenge. Despite the referees and their lax officiating, Derrick came through with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

More importantly, his supporting cast had a solid game as well, with certain players seemingly starting a rotation of who was hot at which points in the game. We had three other Wildcats with double-digit scoring on the night. Jesse Perry had a phenomenal few opening minutes with two buckets and an assist to start the Wildcats off. This is not the first time he has jump started the Wildcats’ offense this season either. Perhaps, the opposing team focuses too much on Williams and taking him out of the game early on that they forget the Perry has some game himself. Regardless, solid play and effort, as always by Perry. He finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. MoMo Jones also had a solid game. He contributed 15 points, 3 assists, and 2 turnovers. However, one of those turnovers was on one of the final inbound pass. Within a pretty turnover laden game, he only had 2. That is impressive and something to take note of. Lastly, Kevin Parrom, the UA Sixth Man of the Year, comes through again and arguably the most solid, all-around player the Wildcats have. He finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds. But, Parrom’s defense on UW’s sharp-shooter C.J. Wilcox was stellar, along with his ability to create his own shot and hustle as hard, if not harder, than anyone on the floor. Lastly, Solomon Hill came up with the biggest touch of his Wildcat career on the go-ahead tip-in with seconds remaining in the game. The lead would not change again. Hill has a high ceiling, but still leaves most of the Wildcat fans waiting to see him emerge as the force to be reckoned with that we know he is.

Some might point out that UW beat the ‘Cats by 17 in Seattle and they lost by only one point in Tucson. However, it is important to take a look at the overall momentum and transformation the Wildcats have had, while taking into consideration the devolution that UW has experienced since that win over the Wildcats. There was a time when the Huskies were speaking of going undefeated in Pac-10 play this year, this is very much so not the case. They sit at 18-8 on the season and 10-5 in Pac-10 play, with losses coming from almost the entire bottom of the Pac-10 standings at present, with the exception of Oregon being tied for 4th. However, a tie for 4th in the Pac-10 at this point means 5 games back. Not to mention, UW lost three in a row a few weeks ago in an epic meltdown. Not to mention the Huskies’ violation of Commissioner Ruling 001.

Regardless, the Wildcats hang on to get the “W” and now we turn out sights to the last road set of the season, Los Angeles, where UCLA waits in the wings to pounce on Arizona’s Pac-10 title dreams. We must first make it through USC on Thursday.

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