Arizona looked slow all game against Stanford in a humbling loss Thursday.
On Saturday against California, both teams got off to an atrocious start scoring just four points through the first four minutes of the game.
The Wildcats caught fire after that and never looked back, beating the Golden Bears 69-46, finishing the busy week 2-1 against conference opponents ASU, Stanford and Cal.
We’ll take all the angles of this one!
UA 47, Cal 30 | 15:30 2nd
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) January 30, 2021
Arizona was able to find its offensive rhythm against Cal and finished the first half shooting 53 percent. The Wildcats kept the momentum in the second half and ended the game shooting 52 percent from the field while going 6-for-13 from beyond the arc.
Arizona (13-4, 7-4 Pac-12) had seven different players score and four players finished in double digits, demonstrating the team’s ability to find points throughout the roster.
The Wildcats were led by guard James Akinjo, who struggled against Stanford turning the ball over six times. Against Cal, Akinjo was near perfect with his 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting while collecting eight assists with zero turnovers.
On Monday night against ASU, freshman Benn Mathurin suffered an ankle injury that seemed to limit him in the Stanford game. Mathurin looked more mobile on the court against Cal (7-12, 2-10) and ended the game with 10 points, three rebounds, and an assist in 33 minutes.
Arizona’s most consistent freshman this season has been Azuolas Tubelis, who has scored in double figures in 10 of the team’s 17 games. However, against Stanford, Tubelis struggled, scoring just four points while going 1-for-9 from the field.
Tubelis had a bounce-back game against Cal, scoring 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting while collecting six rebounds in 28 minutes.
Here Akinjo and Jordan Brown talking about the team’s performance and how they felt on the court after playing four games in 10 days:
One major issue Arizona had during its loss to Stanford was how many times it turned the ball with 18. Against Cal, the Wildcats displayed excellent ball security with just three turnovers in the first half and ended the game with 12.
Arizona won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Cal 33-23 while only allowing six offensive rebounds. The advantage on the glass helped the Wildcats dominate the paint, outscoring the Golden Bears 34-18.
Here’s Sean Miller talking about where his team is physically after playing four games in 10 days and discussing what he saw out of his squad against Cal:
At the end of the postgame press conference, Miller took time to talk about the vaccination process happening on the University of Arizona campus and gave insight as to how hard the medical staff and volunteers are working:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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.