Saturday's loss also continued an interesting Wildcat trend. Arizona is now 3-10 in its last 13 games played immediately prior to Christmas. The good news is that the squad is 13-0 in games immediately following the Christmas break. Incidentally, each of those wins have come in the UA's own Fiesta Bowl Classic.
The Wildcats' first loss of the season predictably came when the squad posted season-low field goal (23-70/.329)and three-point field goal (4-22/.182) percentages. The poor shooting night led to a season-low 65-point offensive output. Poor shot selection and ball movement also hindered the effort as the Cats collected just five assists on 23 field goals made. Missing its first 13 shots of the second half in Saturday's game certainly helped to seal UA's fate against LSU, but even if you remove those misses, Arizona would have shot just .403 (23-of-57 ) for the game, which would have been the team's second-worst effort of the season. Over its last three games, Arizona is shooting a combined 38.9 percent (79-of-203) from the field.
IN LUKE WE TRUST
Just how valuable is senior forward Luke Walton to Arizona's success? In the four games in which he has seen action, Arizona is averaging 97.0 points per game, shooting 49.8 percent from the floor, outrebounding the opposition by +7.6 per game, has a 1.38:1 assist:turnover ratio and a +7.5 turnover margin. In the two games without Walton, Arizona is averaging 69.0 points, shooting 36.0 percent, outrebounding the opposition by +1.0, has a -1.2:1 assist:turnover ratio and a +4.5 turnover margin.
Andre Iguodala grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds (five offensive) in Saturday's loss, marking his second double-figure rebounding effort in the last three games. The 6-foot-8 forward leads Arizona with a 6.5 rebounds per game average and 20 offensive rebounds. Against LSU, Iguodala also added four points, two blocks and a team-high four steals in 25 minutes with no turnovers.
Hassan Adams also put forth a solid effort Saturday with 11 points and five rebounds against the Tigers. Four of Adams' five rebounds were at the offensive end and helped Arizona to a season-best 22 offensive boards. For good measure, Adams also hit all three of his free throw attempts in the contest.
ANOTHER GARDNER MILESTONE
Jason Gardner's team-high 16 points Saturday pushed him past 1,600 career points scored. Gardner now ranks ninth in Arizona history with 1,602 points scored and is 18 points shy of eighth place. With his next start, Gardner will move into sole possession of third place on Arizona's career starts list at 110. Currently tied with Craig McMillan at 109, only Sean Elliott (133) and Anthony Cook (123) rank ahead of Gardner.
FIESTA BOWL NOTE
Davidson's appearance in the event marks the sixth time in tournament history that a team from North Carolina has made an appearance. That number trails only Pennsylvania (8) in filling up the Classic field.
ANOTHER FIESTA BOWL NOTE
Arizona is 33-1 in Fiesta Bowl Classic play with the lone defeat coming in the 2000 championship game, a 75-74 loss to Mississippi State ... All-time, Arizona is 2-1 against current Southern Conference members.