SEATTLE, Washington — Shaina Pellington scored 10 points, Sam Thomas hit a game-clinching 3-pointer with a minute to go and No. 8 Arizona beat Washington 51-42 on Friday night.
The Wildcats (19-4, 9-4 Pac-12) held the Huskies (5-14, 0-11) scoreless for more than 10 minutes midway through the game to pull away in a contest marked by offensive difficulties and turnovers. It was Washington’s 11th straight loss, all in conference play.
Arizona struggled mightily on offense, setting a season low in scoring on 19-for-51 shooting. The previous low came in a 55-53 win over Oregon State in January. Despite their offensive struggles, the Wildcats earned an uncomfortable lead that held up over the Huskies with stifling defense late in the first half.
Arizona held Washington scoreless for the last 9:27 before halftime, with the Huskies going 0 for 9 and turning the ball over seven times during the span. The Wildcats had 10 steals in the game, paced by Helena Pueyo’s four, and forced 22 turnovers. Gisela Sanchez added eight points for Arizona.
Washington trailed 16-7 at halftime, setting a new team record for fewest points in a half. The previous low of eight came against Arizona State in 2009.
UW’s Nancy Mulkey scored 52 seconds into the second half to end the scoreless drought and cut the lead to 16-9, but Arizona answered with a 8-0 run and held the Huskies scoreless for another 3:13 on the way to a 24-9 lead.
Arizona couldn’t pull away, however. Mulkey hit a 3 and scored five straight points during an 8-0 run to cut it to 41-37 with 1:24 left. But Thomas shut it down with her 3 from the top of the key with 1:03 left.
Mulkey scored 13 for UW and Missy Peterson added seven.
Arizona: Ugly though it may have been, the win will be key for the Wildcats as the postseason approaches. Arizona entered the weekend a half-game behind second-place Oregon in the conference standings and the Wildcats will face Washington State, the team directly behind them in the standings, on Sunday in Pullman.
Washington: The Huskies played winning defense in the game, but their offensive struggles continue to mar Tina Langley’s first season.
Arizona: Travels to Washington State on Sunday.
Washington: Hosts Arizona State on Sunday.