SEATTLE - On some nights, Arizona might be able to withstand a 30-point, 12-rebound performance from a guy like Quincy Pondexter.
But not when two major Wildcat engines are misfiring.
Arizona lost 81-75 at Washington when Derrick Williams fouled out in just eight minutes of play and guard Nic Wise had five turnovers and shot 4 of 17 from the field.
"Derrick has been fantastic and he only played eight minutes, so it's hard for us to win when that happens," UA coach Sean Miller said.
Without Williams wreaking havoc inside, the Huskies were largely free to penetrate at will, though they made only 4 of 16 three-point attempts. Washington out-rebounded the Wildcats 45-40 and forced 20 Arizona turnovers, compensating for the Huskies' 36.9 percent shooting.
"Washington did a great job of doing things they do, being aggressive," Miller said.
Arizona was able to get some serviceable help at center from Kyryl Natyazhko and Alex Jacobson, but it wasn't the same.
"Without Derrick … he's a double-double waiting to happen," UA forward Solomon Hill said.
The loss snapped the Wildcats' four-game winning streak and put them at 12-10 overall and 6-4 in Pac-10 play entering a game Saturday at Washington State. The Huskies improved to 15-7 and 5-5, having gone 15-1 at home this season.
Wise finished 4 for 17 from the field, and totaled 12 points. Guard MoMo Jones led UA in scoring with 14 points, while Pondexter led all scorers and rebounders with an effort that will help him in his bid to become the Pac-10's player of the year.
"Quincy did to us what Nic did to Cal," Miller said, referring to the 30 points Wise had in UA's win over California on Sunday.
Trailing by up to 10 points in the second half, the Wildcats still made a push for it in the final minutes. Kyle Fogg drove inside and picked up a foul with 9.7 seconds left, cutting Washington's lead to 77-75, but Venoy Overton hit two free throws to give the Huskies all they needed.
After Wise missed a three-pointer on UA's final possession, Pondexter hit a final pair of free throws for the final margin.
Wise hit a three-pointer to pull UA to within 71-68 with 1:55 left. Wise was shooting 3 of 15 from the field up to that point, having missed two close-in baskets on UA's previous possession.
The Wildcats also received a break with 1:19 left when Overton fouled Fogg, sending Fogg to the line for a chance to pull the game within a point. Fogg made his first shot and missed the second, and UA rebounded - but Wise missed an ensuing 12-footer.
On Washington's next possession, Overton went in for a layup and picked up a foul by Hill, making both free throws to give Washington a four-point lead.
Fogg then returned for a driving layup to pull UA within 73-71 with 35 seconds left, and UA immediately fouled Overton, who made two more free throws for another four-point Husky lead. Later, Washington's Scott Suggs made two free throws for a 77-72 lead before Fogg picked up his three-point play.
The late efforts suggested, to Miller and several of the UA players, that the Wildcats did not fold as they might have done before.
"If this is earlier in the season, it's San Diego State or BYU," Hill said, referring to two of UA's biggest losses.
The Wildcats held a 37-31 lead at halftime but temporarily lost Williams after just 18 seconds when he picked up his fourth foul. Williams did not return until 11:14 remained and fouled out less than two minutes later with 9:36 remaining.
Williams finished the game with a season-low three points, having missed his only shot from the field and making 3 of 4 free throws. He had two rebounds in his eight minutes played.
Miller played both Natyazhko and Jacobson at center in Williams' absence.
Overton started the second half in place of Isaiah Thomas, then hit a three-pointer with 16:18 to go to Washington its first lead of the second half at 43-42.
Washington went on to take a 57-50 lead when Pondexter picked up a UA turnover and slammed it in with 10 minutes left. The Huskies expanded their lead to 68-58 when Thomas made a layup with eight minutes to go before the Wildcats tightened it up in the final minutes.
A fan was ejected with 11:15 after throwing a water bottle from the west upper baseline section.
In the first half, Brendon Lavender hit three three-pointers to help Arizona take a 37-31 halftime lead after trailing for most of the first half.
Lavender's total of nine points represented the most he has scored since Nov. 24 against Colorado in the Maui Invitational, when he had 16. He scored eight points on Jan. 28 against Stanford.
Lavender's last three gave UA the 37-31 lead with 25 seconds left and Washington failed to score on its final possession of the half.
While Lavender led the Wildcats in first-half scoring, Jones added eight points off the bench for UA. Pondexter led Washington with 15 points while also collecting five rebounds, four of them on the offensive end.
Williams picked up his third foul with 6:56 remaining and did not play the rest of the half. Wise finished the half shooting 0 for 5 with three turnovers and only one assist.
Miller and UW coach Lorenzo Romar were both whistled for technical fouls with 7:53 remaining in the first half.
• What: Arizona at Washington St.
• When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
• TV: FSAZ
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM