Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs Arizona State

Arizona opened Pac-12 play with a win over ASU 73-49 on Sunday night. Read on to find out more

Arizona was able to beat Arizona State handily on Sunday afternoon 73-49. Here’s a closer look at what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – He broke back into the starting lineup and was certainly the engine on Arizona's locomotive in the win over rival Arizona State. The sophomore provided plenty of energy throughout the game, finishing with 13 points on four of six shots from the field. Hollis-Jefferson also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists in the game to round out his complete performance.

Key Moments:

  • Arizona came out firing to take an early lead that it did not give up. The Wildcats first four baskets were three-pointers as they opened the game on a 12-7 run that featured two long balls from Brandon Ashley.

  • With 6:45 remaining in the first half, Arizona was leading 31-15 when things went from bad to worse for Arizona State. Savon Goodman drove down the lane and used his off arm to push the defender out of the way, picking up an offensive foul. It was Goodman's third of the game and forced him to the bench for the remainder of the half.

  • Midway through the second half, Jonathan Gilling hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the Arizona lead to sixteen. Immediately after the ball went through the hoop on the second shot, T.J. McConnell was racing towards his own basket. The point guard missed on a layup, but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was there to grab the rebound and flush it back home to spark the crowd, which forced the Sun Devils to call a timeout. Arizona State did not make another basket for the rest of the game.

    Stats of the Night:

    9:32 - Arizona's defense has been stingy down the stretch in most of its games this season, but it really clamped down against Arizona State. The Sun Devils were held without a field goal for the final nine minutes and 32 seconds. Arizona State scored just five points during that stretch, with all of them coming at the free throw line. The Sun Devils were 0-9 with three turnovers during that span.

    General Thoughts:

  • I personally thought that this was going to be a long game for Arizona that would come down to the final few possessions. That was not the case. Arizona rebounded from its first non-conference loss in three seasons and came out fired up from the opening tip. The Wildcats hit four of their first five long balls and jumped out to a fast start.

    Arizona shot 50-percent from the field and beyond the arc, as well as connecting on 16 of 19 from the free throw line. If Arizona can continue to to shoot like that then they aren't losing many more games this year.

  • One thing that was a negative for the Wildcats is something that can be expected in a blowout game like this one. At times, Arizona was sloppy and it looked like it was just losing concentration because the game wasn't close. ASU has a decent defense, but Arizona ended up with 15 turnovers in the game and a handful of them were unforced.

    If the Wildcats plan on getting to the Final Four this season, they will need to cut down on turnovers and stay concentrated, even in blowouts.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    ”I think it was kind of reflective of who he is at this point” Sean Miller said about Stanley Johnson. “There were long stretches, especially in the first half, where you could tell on offense, he's really hard to deal with in terms of the other team.

    "He's very much of an improved defender. In the second half, I thought he lost his concentration a little bit and you can see that. I think that's just the type of person that he is right now.”

    Wildcat Quotable:

    ”It felt really good to get out there,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “It felt really good to get out there and win every war. To be a team and win that way, that's how you want to play basketball. It's a great feeling to have.

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