Arizona was unable to defeat UCLA on Thursday night. Read on for notes on why the Wildcats played so poorly.
struggled from the midway point of the first half and never really got back on track as the Wildcats fell to UCLA
65-58 on Thursday. UA falls to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in conference play with the loss, while the Bruins picked up their first Pac-12 victory of the season.
It was a sloppy game on both ends of the floor for Arizona. The Wildcats were plagued by turnovers, poor shooting and stretches of soft defense throughout the contest. UCLA capitalized, especially in the paint, on UA's shortcomings and never allowed the Wildcats to have the lead after the early minutes of the game.
Solomon Hill picked up a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The junior went 7-for-15 from the floor and fought hard in the paint as he was dominant on the boards.
While he did a nice job of putting points on the board and grabbing rebounds, Hill experienced his fair share of struggles as well. He committed six turnovers, fouled out and, once again, struggled from three-point range, where he missed all three of his attempts.
Jesse Perry was the only other Wildcat to reach double figures. The senior concluded his night with 13 points but struggled to rebound the basketball and had a difficult time matching up with the Wear twins. Perry grabbed just six boards and allowed UCLA's offense to find consistent success in the paint.
Arizona allowed David Wear and Travis Wear to virtually dominate the middle. The twins combined to go 13-of-16 for 34 points and eight rebounds. The pair used their size to their advantage as UA often went with a lineup that didn't include a player over 6-foot-6.
Poor shooting was one of several factors that cost the Wildcats a chance at a victory. Arizona shot just 36.8 percent from the floor as a team and 17.6 percent from three-point land. UA made several runs at the Bruins but would ultimately shoot itself back out of the game after closing the gap.
UA committed 15 turnovers while dishing out just nine assists. That sort of assist-to-turnover ratio is going to make it tough to beat anyone and it was one of the several reasons why the Wildcats failed to stage a comeback.
UCLA did a better job of shooting and taking care of the ball than Arizona did. While not overly impressive, the Bruins shot 44.4 percent from the floor, which was nearly eight percent higher than UA. UCLA also did a better job of avoiding mistakes, committing a mere nine turnovers.