Arizona's 39-game non-conference winning streak was snapped on Tuesday night. Read on for more about the loss, including key moments and post-game quotes.
Arizona played one of its worst games of the season in losing 71-67 to UNLV. Here’s a closer look at what happened:
Tied at 12, the Wildcats went on a 8-0 microburst to jump in front. Stanley Johnson was given a technical foul for jawing with two opposing players. He hit two free throws, which started the run and gave the Wildcats a 20-12 lead. T.J. McConnell capped the run with a nifty up and under layup with just over ten minutes to go in the first half.
Arizona started the second half leading by five. It didn’t last long as the Rebels were able to able to tie the game in just over six minutes of game time.
Arizona was able to jump back out in front, but a vital point in the game came with 7:14 left in the game when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was whistled for his fifth and disqualifying foul. Christian Wood immediately hit a bucket, the Rebels were able to block a shot and Wood hit another basket to trim the Arizona lead to just one. A few plays later Goodluck Okonoboh gave the Rebels their first lead since early in the first half.
Arizona had a chance to win the game late with less than a minute to go. The Wildcats got the ball on a breakaway, but Johnson missed a layup that would have given them the lead. After a free throw, Brandon Ashley missed a three pointer for the lead and the Wildcats were forced to foul with just second remaining. The Rebels missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Johnson turned the ball over one last time, sealing the win for UNLV.
Stats of the Night:
7:44 - Despite playing poorly for a majority of the night, the Wildcats were still in the game and actually leading with 7:44 to go in the game when Gabe York made a layup in transition. From that point, the Wildcats scored just one field goal, a McConnell layup, for the rest of the game. UNLV went on a 15-6 run over that span, falling to the Rebels.
Arizona played poorly in just about every aspect of the game on Tuesday. The Wildcats couldn't stop anything on defense, letting UNLV shoot 44-percent from the field, but that wasn't the worst of it.
The Rebels outrebounded the Wildcats 46-33. Coming into the game, UNLV actually had a rebounding deficit, while Arizona was sitting at a lofty eight rebound advantage per game. The Wildcats got out played on the glass and it hurt them down the stretch.
The Wildcats are still a great team, but they finally got exploited against UNLV for some of the weaknesses that they have. Arizona's offense can go quiet for stretches and normally it has been able to withstand that with good defense. In Las Vegas, the offense went cold, but the defense never showed up to do its end of the bargain.
Arizona will have to find some answer to the offensive struggles, but until that time comes, the Wildcats will need to rely on their defense, which can disappear when it is needed the most.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"For any coach, it's hard to lose, but this was a much-needed game for us to step back and work on the things we need to work on, rekindle our fire defensively," Miller said. "Winning on the road takes a great defensive effort and we were the furthest thing from that."
"It wasn’t just one guy getting beat," McConnell said. "It was all of us. As a team our defense was just absolutely pathetic."