Arizona Basketball

Postgame interviews: Arizona vs. Stanford

Coming into Thursday night’s game, Arizona won its last three games by an average of 16.3 points, with a win over Oregon State and two over rival ASU.

The Wildcats took on a depleted Stanford team that was missing three of its five starters. That didn’t matter as the Cardinal are one of the best defensive teams in the conference and took it to Sean Miller‘s squad, winning a gritty 73-64 game.

It’s the first time since the 2007-08 season when Kevin O’Neill was the coach that the Wildcats have been swept by Stanford.

Arizona struggled on offense, turning the ball over 18 times. It also allowed 34 points in the paint. Stanford shot 49 percent from the field while going 7-for-17 from beyond the arc.

Point guard James Akinjo has been one of Arizona’s best players during the three-game winning streak averaging 16 points, 6.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds. He started the game hot, hitting three of his first four shots, but in the second half, he hit a cold streak when his team needed a spark. He finished the game with 17 points, six assists, and three rebounds but turned the ball over an alarming six times in 35 minutes.

Arizona couldn’t find anyone to help Akinjo on the offensive end as freshman Azuolas Tubelis struggled with four points on 1-of-9 shooting during his 34 minutes on the court.

The team’s second leading scorer was Terrell Brown Jr., who finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and turned the ball over three times in 37 minutes.

Arizona’s frontcourt gave no relief against Stanford, combining for 14 points while going 4-for-17 from the field, and collecting just 13 of the team’s 32 rebounds.

Here are players Dalen Terry and Brown talking about what went wrong against Stanford and giving insight into where the team is mentally coming off its third game in eight days:

Stanford has been led by its defense and forward Oscar da Silva all season long, and things didn’t change against Arizona. While holding the Wildcats to 42 percent shooting, the Cardinal also forced the Wildcats into several scoring droughts throughout the game and held them to 2-of-12 shooting during the game’s final stretch.

Da Silva and Jaiden Delaire were fantastic against Arizona, combining for 38 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. The Cardinal had a balanced scoring attack with four players scoring in double figures.

Here’s Miller talking about what went wrong down the final eight minutes of the game and discussing how difficult it is to play three Pac-12 opponents in one week:

FOLLOW TROY HUTCHISON ON TWITTER! writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.

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