Arizona completed the road sweep on Sunday night with an 86-59 victory over Washington State. Read on for a closer look at the win, including the player of the game, the key moments, and more.
For the second game in a row, Arizona came out on fire, took the lead and never looked back. The Wildcats used a big first half to beat Washington State 86-59. Here’s a closer look at what happened:
Arizona Player of the Game:
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – The super sophomore did it all for the Wildcats in the win tallying 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Hollis-Jefferson was a perfect six of six at halftime, including a circus shot over the backboard as time expired in the first half. He did not do much in the second half, but he was instrumental in Arizona grabbing the huge lead in the first half and it's difficult to match the 30-point lead Arizona took into halftime.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, Gabe York knifed through the lane before dishing to Stanley Johnson. The small forward gave a head fake before dishing to Elliott Pitts, who drained a three as a defender closed out. The shot gave the Wildcats a 22-10 lead.
Just under the ten minute mark, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson cut to the middle of the floor and pulled up his dribble before burying a jumper. On the next possession, Brandon Ashley tipped in a missed three from York and then T.J. McConnell hit a bank shot in the lane. Following a break in the action, Kaleb Tarczewski added five points and Hollis-Jefferson put in four more during a 15-0 run for the Wildcats, putting them ahead 41-13. Arizona would never look back throughout the night.
Stat of the Night:
57 - Arizona’s offense has finally come alive in the last two games. The Wildcats are shooting the lights out, hitting 36 of 63 shots on Sunday night and 67 of 122 on the road trip. Arizona did not do well at the free throw line, going just 10 of 20, but that was the lone negative on the shooting front.
Washington State is not a very good team and that was very apparent in the game. Arizona came out ready to play and there are not many teams in the country that can beat the Wildcats when that is the case. However, the Cougars were unable to get anything going early and that led to a blowout win for Arizona.
It really was a shame that Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright were unable to play this weekend. It would have given both of them valuable experience playing on the road in the conference, which is going to be needed when they are both in the starting lineup next season.
T.J. McConnell is playing out of his mind right now. He is getting to the basket at will, making perfect passes to his teammates, and really setting the tone for his teammates. The senior is leading the team and is consistently showing his aggressive side, which had been just a myth at this time last season.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"We had a tremendous first half," Miller said. "We did what we needed to do in the second half. We weren't going to beat them by 30 in the second half."
"They started hitting shots in the second half that they did not make in the first," McConnell said. "We were giving them open shots."