SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Jason Gardner could not make a jumper, but he made a pair of key assists.
Gardner fed Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye for key baskets in overtime as second-ranked Arizona survived for a wild 88-85 Pac-10 Conference victory over upset-minded Washington.
Gardner had a miserable shooting night as he misfired on 10-of-12 attempts, including a potential game-winner near the end of regulation. Arizona (17-2, 9-1 Pac-10) had trouble generating offense for most of the extra session and trailed, 84-82, with 90 seconds left.
After a timeout, Gardner penetrated down the right side and found Stoudamire on the wing. Stoudamire, who led the Wildcats with 25 points, drilled a 3-pointer to make it 85-84 with 78 seconds to go.
"I thought Washington played harder," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "They competed harder. They played with a lot more enthusiasm and effort than our guys did. They deserved to win the game, the only thing that saved us was Salim hitting the shots."
Washington (8-11, 3-7) had a chance to take the lead, but freshman Nate Robinson missed a spinning layup. Gardner patiently took some time off the clock before he found Frye for an easy basket and an 87-84 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Huskies freshman Bobby Jones was fouled with one second left and made his first free throw but failed to draw iron as he tried to intentionally miss the second off the rim. A foul shot by Arizona's Rick Anderson capped the scoring.
Robinson finished with a season-high 24 points for Washington, which lost its eighth straight to Arizona. The Huskies made just half of their 10 free throws in overtime.
"We played a very good basketball team tonight," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They stepped up and made plays when they had to. I can't say enough about the courage our guys showed. From day one, we have preached about giving effort. When you play a team like Arizona, they take advantage of every breakdown you have."
The Wildcats held a 78-73 lead after Gardner converted a layup with 1:23 left in regulation. Washington's Will Conroy answered with a 3-pointer and Robinson banked in a short jumper to tie the game before Gardner missed badly on his game-winning attempt.
Frye collected a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds and helped put Washington big men Jeffrey Day and Mike Jensen in foul trouble. Day fouled out and Jensen finished with four fouls.
"I am extremely proud of our guys," Romar said. "You could see they had nothing left and they gave all they had. They know the standard of our team and they are going to win many more games playing this way."
Arizona turned around a huge rebounding disparity in the first half. The Huskies held a 28-18 edge on the glass over the first 20 minutes, but the Wildcats fared better after halftime and lost the battle of the boards, 44-39.
It was the first time in three games that Arizona won when it got outrebounded. Washington had 21 offensive rebounds, including 15 in the first half.
"To Washington's credit they really went after the ball today," Olson said. "But there's no way we should give up 15 offensive rebounds. A good indication, every loose ball and rebound and rebound they got. They wanted it more than we did. They played real well."
Stoudamire made 9-of-13 shots, including five 3-pointers and scored 18 points after halftime. The sophomore scored 20 of his career-high 32 points in a rousing 91-74 comeback victory at Kansas on January 25.
Robinson carried Washington through most of the second half and matched a season high with 19 points. Curtis Allen came off the bench and nailed five 3-pointers for 15 points.
Washington held a 41-39 lead at halftime and built on it at the start of the second. Jones, Conroy and Allen all had 3-pointers to spark a 14-6 burst and the Huskies took their largest lead at 57-47 on Conroy's steal and layup with 13:11 left in the second half.
"We can't put together two really good games in a row," Olson said. "We play 20 good minutes and then we don't. But we've got eight games left before the Pac-10 tournament, and there has got to be a huge difference."
Anderson and Stoudamire each drilled 3-pointers to quickly slice the deficit to four and a three-point play by Frye and a 3-pointer by Stoudamire gave Arizona a 61-60 advantage. Frye added a pair of foul shots for a three-point edge.
With the Huskies in a scoring drought, Robinson nailed a 3-pointer and a banked in a jumper for a 65-63 lead with just under eight minutes left. The game stayed close until a technical foul on the Huskies' Doug Wrenn helped allow the Wildcats to score seven straight points for a 76-71 lead with three minutes to go.
"The technical, I know Arizona got five points from it," Romar said. "We have talked in practice about keeping your emotions under control during a game."
Washington had chances to take command in overtime, but Jensen missed a pair of foul shots and Jones split a pair on two occasions. The Huskies made 12-of-15 free throws in regulation.
"This loss does not sit well, but it shows we can play against elite teams and the potential we have," Jones said. "Our confidence is very high. If we don't think this way, why should we play basketball."
Luke Walton finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Gardner had eight points, seven assists and just one turnover. The Wildcats enjoyed a 44-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Conroy finished with 11 points and six assists and Jones collected 10 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Washington got a rough outing from Wrenn, who fouled out with nine points.