Postgame Analysis: UCLA

The Arizona Wildcats fell to the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night. Read on to find out which plays were critical to the game and who the players of the game were.

The Arizona Wildcats fell short of a comeback against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night. The Wildcats tried to rally late in the game, but couldn't pull all the way back. Here's an analysis of what happened:

UCLA Player of the Game:

Larry Drew II – The senior transfer had his way with Arizona defenders throughout the night. He finished with fourteen points and was able to drive to the basket at will for most of the game. Drew's major contribution came in the form of his nine assists, as he could do whatever he wanted and did.

Arizona Players of the Game:

Jordin Mayes – Arizona was kept in the game in the first half in most part to the resurgence of Mayes. It is no secret that he has struggled with confidence for a large chunk of the season, but he started to show signs of his former self in the game against UCLA. Mayes hit a three and followed it up with an easy runner after a ball-fake. He only finished with eight points, but the guard only saw thirteen minutes of action.

Grant Jerrett - The freshman was vital to the Wildcats down the stretch. He hit multiple big shots in the game, including two late three pointers that gave Arizona a chance to win it. Jerrett finished with a team-high 14 points, which was just a point shy of his career best. He also had a block and five rebounds on the night. Key Moments:

  • Mayes scored five straight points for Arizona in the first half, cutting a five-point lead to just one for UCLA. It was the surge the Wildcats needed in order to keep the game close.

  • Just twenty seconds into the second half of the game, Solomon Hill was whistled for his third foul. The senior was already unfocused in the game, but his foul trouble took him completely out of the game.

  • UCLA used a 12-0 run just after Hill's foul to take a fourteen-point lead. The elapsed time was similar to the early run that the Bruins went on in Tucson, completely taking control of the game.

  • Arizona battled back, but the Bruins pushed the game with six minutes left in the game. The Wildcats cut the fourteen-point lead to just five, but the Bruins were able to extend it back up to eleven with a short run, capped off by a A David Wear three-pointer.

  • Mark Lyons was given the ball with 24 seconds remaining in the game. Arizona was down three points, thanks to Jerrett's clutch shooting. Lyons drove the lane, but was unable to hit a short jumper. Shabazz Muhammad grabbed the rebound and sealed the game for the Bruins. Thoughts:

    There are really only two things that I had a major issue with in the game. The first was the play of the veterans. Each of them had good moments in the game, but also had major lapses at times. Hill looked completely unfocused at times, as did Parrom. Lyons and Nick Johnson were both sloppy with the ball and made bad decisions. Lyons is not a point guard, but he is playing the point position on the floor. For him, having five turnovers and just one assist is inexcusable.

    The other issue I have is that Arizona didn't ride momentum at all during the game. When a player started doing well, the team went away from him or he was pulled out of the game. Mayes was playing good basketball in the first half, but saw almost no time in the second half.

    In addition, Jerrett was on fire towards the end of the game, but was nowhere near the ball on the final two possessions that the Wildcats had.

    Sean Miller quotable:

    "I love the fact that we fought back hard and gave ourselves an opportunity to win," Miller said. "It would be difficult for any team to come in here and win."

    Wildcat quotable:

    "They came out with a little more energy at the start of each half," Parrom said. "You are supposed to win at home, but we have to respond better. That is something we have to be better at if we want to go where we want to go."

  • Wildcat Authority Top Stories