Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs CSUN

Arizona beat Cal State Northridge on Sunday night 86-68. Read on to find out who the player of the game was, what the key plays were, and more.

Arizona got off to a quick start on Sunday night and put the game away early in a 86-68 win over Cal State Northeridge. Here’s a closer look at what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – The sophomore came off the bench again on Sunday and it didn’t seem to phase him. Hollis-Jefferson brought the energy to the Wildcats when he got on the floor and was just the spark that Arizona needed. He was consistent throughout the game, scoring 14 points on 5-8 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds as well.

Hollis-Jefferson’s impact on the game was felt in multiple ways throughout the night, especially with the little things. He dished out three assists, shot 80-percent at the free throw line, and played solid defense.

Key Moments:

  • With the Wildcats leading just 6-5, Arizona went on a short run to get some breathing room. A free throw from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and two buckets from Stanley Johnson and T.J. McConnell put Arizona up 11-5. After a CSUN basket, McConnell hit a trey and extended the lead to 14-7.

  • At the 4:04 mark in the first half, Elliott Pitts swished a wide open three-pointer, Arizona’s fifth of the half. It gave Arizona a 29-18 lead that the Wildcats kept increasing. That seemed to be when the Wildcats really turned it on and started playing with a sense of urgency that let them open up a big lead.

  • Shortly after the second media timeout in the second half, Arizona held a 20-point lead when Parker Jackson-Cartwright slashed through the lane, scoring on a contested layup. On the next play, the point guard grabbed a rebound and found Elliott Pitts in transition for a basket and the foul. CSUN answered with a layup, but Pitts wasn’t done as he drained his second three pointer of the night, giving him a career-high nine points and his team a 63-37 lead.

    Stats of the Night:

    8 - Arizona entered the season with concerns about where the outside shooting would come from. The Wildcats seem to have found an answer for that in the win against CSUN as they hit eight long balls.

    46 - With the Pac-12 Coordinator of Officials, Bobby Dibler, in the building the referees were calling just about anything that they could, whistling a combined 46 fouls throughout the game. Five Wildcats and five Matadors were in foul trouble when the final whistle blew.

    General Thoughts:

  • I think that Arizona played about as good a game as you can play against a team like Cal State Northridge. The Wildcats came out slow, but that has been something that has been the norm for the last year and a half. The Wildcats may not jump out to a huge lead right away, but if it is going to happen, Arizona will get there.

    Despite the start, the Wildcats dominated just about every aspect of the game. They took good shots, played solid defense, knocked down long balls, and controlled the glass. It looked very similar to last season’s team, which should please any Arizona fans.

  • The negatives were few and far between, but they were there. Arizona continues to struggle at the line, but at this point, it is likely all mental and, just like last season, it won’t last all year long and the players will snap out of it,

    The Wildcats also had 18 turnovers as a team and though some came in mop up time, Arizona just struggled to hold onto the ball. While the game seemed sloppy to the eye, the Wildcats were trying to make too many exotic passes and being a little too unselfish. It will take some time for the team to gel, but this seems to be the first step.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "I thought Rondae Jefferson was the best player on our team tonight," Miller said. "When he is in the game, so many good things are happening. He's playing with an incredible energy level. He does it on defense, he does it on offense."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "I'm going to have the most energy in the country when it comes to giving it my all," Hollis-Jefferson said. "Teams need that in a game and I feel like I bring that spark every time."

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