Jordan Mathews proves to be the difference

Jordan Mathews proved to be the difference in Arizona's loss Saturday night. Read on to see what Sean Miller had to say about him and more.

Even when Arizona made a defensive stand or two on Saturday night, the Wildcats had no answer for Jordan Mathews.

“I think we have to credit Jordan Mathews with just an incredible night,” Sean Miller said. “A lot of his shots didn't come in the half court offense, it came in transition where his teammates did a great job finding him and when they found him he made us pay. 

“We went to a 2-3 zone one time, didn't recognize he was in the corner and he made us pay.”

Arizona defended relatively well at times, but its transition defense was its undoing.

“Cal’s really good in transition off of turnovers and misses,” Miller said. “That was the difference in the game. 

“Their pushing in transition and ability to find him and the points they generated was too much for us to overcome.”

The Wildcats’ performance early in the second half was about as bad as Arizona has played all season.

“The first four minutes of the second half was as bad as we can play,” Miller said. “Cal had a lot to do with it. They were very physical and has tremendous energy. 

“When a team is playing like that, you have to work it, strain, discipline, and sometimes go later into the clock. 

“As we attempted to go later in the clock we made bad decisions. I called two timeouts and if I had to do it over again I would do the same thing because we needed to settle down.”

It was important that Arizona won the rebounding battle, but the deficit wasn’t enough.

“We out-rebounded them 32-27,” Miller said. “That’s deceptive though because they had 12 second shots and there were too many times their hustle and hard play really separated them from us.”

After the game, Miller did not seem too disappointed with losing on the road.

“Winning on the road in a game tonight with the crowd they had, we would have had to played a terrific game,” he said. “We played a good game, but we had to play better.”

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