Arizona was not able to pull out a win at Florida. Read on for a closer look at what held the Wildcats back on Wednesday.
held its own against Florida
but ultimately let the game slip away as the Gators topped the Wildcats 78-72. The loss drops UA to 6-3 on the season but the game showed that the Wildcats are capable of hanging with the better teams in the country. Despite playing without freshman guard Josiah Turner
, Arizona stayed with Florida and even held the lead for much of the second half.
The game highlighted several key players for UA. The Wildcats received sizable contributions from a few of their upperclassmen, but in the end it simply wasn't enough to overcome a strong Gators squad.
Jesse Perry had a huge night for UA. The senior scored a career-high 23 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out a pair of assists. Perry shot the ball extremely well, going 8-for-12 from the floor; including 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line. His impact on the offensive end was huge and provided the Wildcats with a player that gave Florida a hard time both inside and out. The only shortcomings in Perry's game Wednesday night were the five turnovers he committed, but he was definitely a huge plus for UA against the Gators.
Senior guard Kyle Fogg was hitting his shots from long range on his way to a 19-point evening. Fogg was 7-for-11 from the field and made four out of six shots from three-point land. He was a thorn in Florida's side for much of the second half as it had no one to stop his jumper from going down.
Arizona received a very good sign on Wednesday in terms of Kevin Parrom's performance. It has been a very difficult year for the junior both on and off the floor, but he was one of the Wildcats' best players against the Gators. Parrom scored 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor. Parrom was strong all around as he added five rebounds and five assists while committing zero turnovers.
Before his well-documented offseason ended in tragedy, Parrom was a player many thought would emerge as one of the go-to guys on the squad. The junior showed shades of that type of player against UF, especially in the first half. If Parrom can continue to build off his performance Wednesday night, the Wildcats will become a much more dangerous team.
Outside of drawing a huge (and controversial) foul at the end of game that led to three made free throws to force overtime, Solomon Hill really struggled on the floor against Florida. The junior fouled out in overtime with just five points in 32 minutes. Hill made only one field goal out of seven shot attempts and could never really get comfortable against the Gators' defense.
Freshman Nick Johnson struggled in his first start at point guard. He finished the evening 2-for-8 from the field – missing all four attempts from three-point range - and committed five turnovers before fouling out in overtime.
The Wildcats had no answer for Gators' big man Patric Young. The sophomore shot 80 percent (12-for-15) from the field on his way to a career high 25 points. Young added 10 boards – six on the offensive end – to earn his third double-double of the season.
Florida found a win despite shooting 46.9 percent from the foul line. UF missed 17 of its 32 shots from the charity stripe, but luckily for the Gators, their shortcomings at the foul line didn't cost them the game.
One of the biggest reasons UA came out on the losing end was its inability to control the paint. The Wildcats gave up 22 offensive boards to Florida and were out-rebounded by UF 46-36. UA can't allow the opposition to acquire so many second chance opportunities if it wants to continue to win games; especially against squads on the level of Florida's caliber.