TUCSON, Ariz. – This is what Tony Wroten dreamed of when he thought about playing college basketball – a sold out arena, electric atmosphere and ESPN Gameday there to hype it up.
That it was not at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle was just a minor detail.
Saturday’s game between Washington and Arizona at a sold-out McKale Center was an environment as good as any in college basketball.
Besides having ESPN and it’s army of staffers along with legendary former coaches Bob Knight and Digger Phelps, the Wildcats ran their annual “white out” promotion encouraging all fans to wear white to the game. Almost all of the 14,604 in attendance followed through with a few specks of purple from the small Washington contingent.
“This crowd was super loud,” Wroten said. “We shut the crowd down for most of the game.”
The boisterous student section known as the ’Zona Zoo and the rest of the fans were into the game. But Washington controlled things early, keeping the craziness to a minimum.
When Arizona cut the Huskies’ 10-point lead to three, however, the place was deafening.
“It got so loud I couldn’t hear myself think or breathe,” Wroten said. “This was the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Some of the players reveled in the craziness
“I love playing here,” said C.J. Wilcox, who scored 15 points. “It was just a great experience.”
Others liked it a little better this time.
“I like it now that we end it on a win,” said Terrence Ross, remembering last season’s 87-86 loss in Tucson. “At first, I didn’t like it at all.”
PARROM OUT AGAIN
Arizona’s Kevin Parrom, who fought his way back from a gunshot wound before the season, had his season come to an end because of a different injury.
The junior forward suffered a broken bone in his right foot late in the first half. He will need surgery to repair the break.
Parrom was playing brilliantly in the game before the injury. He had scored seven points, pulled down three rebounds and dished out two assists.
“The ten minutes he played in the first half, I thought he was the best on the floor,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said.
Aziz N’Diaye continues to play well in the conference season. The big man scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. … Abdul Gaddy picked up his fourth foul with six minutes left and had to go to the bench. Wroten took over the ballhandling duties, and the Huskies didn’t suffer. Coach Lorenzo Romar labeled it as “a key to this win.” … For the third game in a row, Austin Seferian-Jenkins played early minutes. He finished with two points and three rebounds in six minutes. … Arizona’s Solomon Hill scored 28 points on 9-for-10 shooting with 12 rebounds and just one turnover.
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org