Arizona came in playing its hottest basketball of the season.
UCLA came in after losing a close game to Arizona State.
It had all the makings of one team letting down and the other coming in angry.
Hours later, that story idea was moot.
Arizona used a big first half and solid second to defeat UCLA 84-72 behind a complete team effort.
Jordan Hill led the Wildcats with 22 points and 14 rebounds despite going up against one of the better interior defenders in Alfred Aboya. Many felt that Aboya would give Hill trouble, but that definitely was not the case.
The UA had the strategy of having Hill face Aboya and that seemed to take him out of his comfortable zone. By facing up, Hill expanded his mobility and it forced UCLA to rotate on defense, thus leaving guys open.
One of those open players was Zane Johnson, who finished with 11 points. he stretched the defense and once again did his job, as the Bruins were often caught focusing elsewhere in transition.
In addition, it was once again the Nic Wise show. Considering he has received a lot of criticism this season, Wise probably deserves a collective apology.
He has help put this team on his back and scored 26 points on Saturday. He did not finish with an assist, but he was forced to take on a different role. His aggressiveness to the basket showed his teammates not to hesitate or fear the UCLA defense and it definitely seemed to wear off.
Lastly, of course, is Chase Budinger. Budinger finished with 17 points with five rebounds and assists and just had a solid game overall. He continues to play well and with a confidence that we have not seen him have while at the UA.
With the win, Arizona moves even closer to the tournament. Figuring a meltdown, it seems that the streak will continue, which did not seem possible a few weeks ago.
The streak is over
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