Notebook: UA vs. ASU

Arizona had a disappointing loss Sunday against Arizona State. Read on for notes on why the Wildcats could not come up with a win.

Arizona suffered its worst loss of the year in the season finale against Arizona State, as the Wildcats fell to the Sun Devils 87-80. UA struggled defensively throughout the game and ASU was able to take full advantage. That coupled with the Wildcats' inability to capitalize on several easy opportunities allowed Arizona State put a serious dent in Arizona's NCAA Tournament hopes.

The Wildcats could not afford to lose on Sunday, but they simply didn't play with the fire necessary to avoid an upset at the hands of their rival. Now with a bad loss on its resume that it simply could not afford, Arizona must rely on an impressive run in the Pac-12 Tournament in order to ensure a bid to the big dance.

  • ASU's offense played its best game of the season and UA's defense found it difficult to stop the Sun Devils' attack. Arizona State shot 55.8 percent from the floor and dished out 20 assists as a team. ASU did a lot of its damage from the outside, knocking down an impressive seven out of 12 attempts from beyond the arc. Freshman Jonathan Gilling burned the Wildcats all afternoon from deep, shooting 5-for-6 from three point range.

  • The Sun Devils took advantage of their opportunities from the charity stripe, connecting on 91.7 percent of their opportunities from the foul line. ASU's physical play underneath the basket led to 24 foul shots and Arizona State connected on 22 of those chances.

  • Arizona State had three players score 21 points each. Gilling, Trent Lockett and Carrick Felix shared the scoring load and made it difficult for the Wildcats to defend. UA was unable to focus on one player as ASU was able to get big contributions from all around.

  • Arizona held a six point lead at the half, but ended up getting outscored by 13 in the final 20 minutes of play. Known as a team that turns it on late, the Wildcats did just the opposite as they collapsed down the stretch and suffered their worst – and possibly most damaging – loss of the season.

  • Kyle Fogg led UA with 23 points in his final regular season game in college. The guard shot 7-for-17 from the floor, but struggled from deep by going just 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. Fogg provided a bit of offensive firepower early and was one of the primary reasons the Wildcats held a lead at the half. Fogg was a bit more inconsistent in the second frame, however, as Arizona seemed to focus on getting others involved early in the second half.

  • In his final regular season game as a Wildcat, senior Brendon Lavender did all he could to push Arizona to victory, but ultimately it wasn't enough. The sharp-shooter scored 18 points – all coming from three-point land – as he connected on six out of eight attempts from beyond the arc.

  • The Wildcats struggled taking care of the ball. They turned the ball over 14 times compared to just 16 assists. ASU was able to surprise Arizona with smothering defense as the Sun Devils were able to come up with 13 steals and block nine shots.

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