A few days removed from a tough loss at the hands of California and there is a lot to question regarding just what went wrong with Arizona on Sunday. After being in control for much of the first half, the Wildcats collapsed quickly in the second half and allowed the Golden Bears take control away from them.
Focusing on the task at hand seemed to be a challenge for Arizona over much of the second half. The Wildcats' body language showed that they expected to roll over Cal in the second half, but the Golden Bears were not having any of that. Head coach Mike Montgomery made adjustments on both ends of the floor and the Wildcats failed to counter and lost control of the contest.
There were multiple contributing factors in UA's demise on Sunday, but it's hard to pinpoint one as the primary reason.
It's difficult to quantify exactly how much body language affected the second half, but UA simply looked to be going through the motions after the break. Cal, on the other hand, came out with a sense of urgency and seemed to have more energy after halftime. The Wildcats looked like they expected to run over the Golden Bears in the second half and were caught off-guard by California's aggressiveness.
Cal's zone defense
Arizona shot 60 percent from three point range and took 10 attempts from beyond the arc against a defense that was mostly man-to-man during the first half of play. Against the zone – a defense that can be susceptible to long distance shooting – the Wildcats didn't take advantage and continued to attack the basket with inconsistent success.
Montgomery generally prefers man-to-man, but his adjustment to the zone scheme essentially won the game for his team. It caused numerous problems for the Wildcats' offensive attack and allowed the Bears to push the ball up the court in transition for much of the second half.
Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs
52 points of Cal's scoring output came from the team's leading scorers. The pair combined to shoot 20-for-29 overall and UA's effort was sub-par in defending them. The Wildcats attempted to clamp down in the middle of the second half, but it didn't make too much of a difference by that point as both Cobbs and Crabbe were seemingly unstoppable even with hands in their faces.
Poor two-point shooting
Arizona seemed to struggle the closer it got to the basket. Shooting 13-for-38 inside the three-point line isn't going to win many games and it certainly didn't help UA's case on Sunday. While they were successful from outside, the Wildcats were stunted by Cal's defense whenever it tried to execute in the paint or from mid-range.
Nick Johnson and Mark Lyons
Both players struggled Sunday and while Lyons led the team in scoring, he shot poorly from the floor. Johnson has struggled for three straight games and hasn't played as aggressively of late. The sophomore disappeared for much of the game against Cal and even struggled defensively, an area of his game that is rarely an issue.
A look back: California
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