Arizona was able to defeat Washington State on Saturday. Read on for news and notes on how the Wildcats got it done.
Saturday afternoon's affair was controlled by Arizona
from start to finish and the Wildcats came through with one of their more efficient offensive performances of the season, as they defeated Washington State
The Cougars didn't come out with a lot of energy and the Wildcats put the pressure on them on both ends of the floor. Wazzu struggled mightily on offense in the first half, while UA was virtually unstoppable while in possession of the ball.
Led by sharp-shooting from one of its senior leaders, Arizona was able to fend off the Cougars in the second half when they started to wake up on the offensive end of the floor. Washington State began cutting into UA's lead midway through the second half, but excellent three-point down the stretch ultimately buried Wazzu.
Kevin Parrom was nearly perfect shooting the ball on Saturday. His 6-for-7 performance (5-for-6 from three-point range) was what helped UA hold off the Cougars' late charge and his 19 points led all UA scorers. On top of his impressive shooting performance, Parrom was a big factor on the boards by grabbing seven rebounds.
Parrom led the charge from long range, but he wasn't the only one knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Arizona shot 50 percent (11-for-22) from long distance and was able to answer just about any big play Wazzu made with a shot from deep.
Mark Lyons came up with a solid all-around performance, contributing 14 points, four assists and three steals on the afternoon. The senior went 5-for-11 from the floor, but his distribution renders as much credit as his scoring. Lyons' four assists were solid and it came accompanied with just one turnover.
Freshman big man Kaleb Tarczewski continues to make significant strides with each game that passes. The center put his size and strength to use on Saturday and he muscled his way to a 12-point afternoon.
He shot the ball with high efficiency (4-for-6 from the field, 4-for-5 from the charity stripe) and he did a solid job on the glass, picking up six rebounds. The type of performance Tarczewski put forth on Saturday is what UA is going to require once postseason play hits and, if he can come through, Arizona becomes extremely dangerous.
The battle of the boards went to Arizona as well. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Cougars 30-23, led by Parrom's seven. Wazzu wasn't too successful on the offensive glass (seven offensive boards) and only came through with six second-chance points.
The Wildcats dished out 19 assists on Saturday, which is the most they have tallied since the start of the conference schedule. Led by Nick Johnson – who had six of those assists – UA was able to produce one of its better displays of team-ball all season.
Arizona's three first-year big men didn't miss too many shots on Saturday. Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley, and Grant Jerrett combined to go 9-for-13 from the field and totaled 25 points between the three of them. The level of comfort within the trio seems to be rising and it couldn't come at a better time for the Wildcats.