Postgame Analysis: Florida

The Arizona Wildcats came back from a large deficit to beat the Florida Gators on a last second shot. Read on to find out who the player of the game was, which plays were important, and more.

Arizona came back from what seemed like an improbable eleven point deficit to defeat the Florida Gators 65-64. The Wildcats remain undefeated on the season and here is an analysis of how that happened:

Player of the Game:

Mark Lyons – The senior guard was a key to Arizona's victory in the game. Lyons had 14 points, but none were as important as his game-winner. Lyons seems to come up big when Arizona needs him the most and Saturday was a perfect example of that.

Key Moments:

  • The clock was winding down to the end of the first half and Kenny Boynton had the ball, dribbling out the clock for the final shot. Hill jumped out on a screen and stole the ball, racing down the court for a dunk. It pulled Arizona within three at halftime and made it a 8-0 Wildcat run.

  • At the one minute mark in the second half, Nick Johnson stepped in front of an in-bounds pass and threw it off Mike Rosario causing a big turnover that sparked the McKale Center crowd into an even bigger frenzy. From that point on, Arizona went on a 7-0 run to end the game, forcing two more Florida turnovers.

  • With just under ten seconds left, Mark Lyons cut down the right side of the lane and pushed a shot towards the rim. The ball bounced off the backboard and into the hoop, giving Arizona its first lead of the second half with seven seconds remaining. Florida failed to get off a quality shot and the Wildcats came away with the victory.

    General Thoughts:

    Arizona showed a true gutsy performance against Florida. It was a top-ten matchup and didn't disappoint in the entertainment category. The Wildcats fought back, facing a battle-tested veteran team and came away with the win. Great teams find ways to win and Arizona found a way to win in this one.

    There are plenty of reasons that the Wildcats had a tough time in the early portions of the game. For one, the Gators out-rebounded the Wildcats 33-22 and had 12 offensive rebounds. If there was one main weakness for Arizona in this one, it was performing well on the glass.

    That being said, Arizona forced nine turnovers in the second half and never quit playing. At times, it seemed that the Gators had an answer for every big shot the Wildcats made. The players never quit on the team and that shows plenty of poise and maturity for what is still a relatively young squad.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "For the record, I didn't call timeout," Sean Miller said of his end of the game choice. "When you don't call a timeout, you put the ball in the player's hands and hope he makes a play.

    "The reason we didn't call timeout was because Florida is so good at playing the man and the zone that you don't know what they're going to be in and they can make the game hard to get the ball inbounds. You have to have players step up and make big shots and tonight, thank goodness, we made the big shot."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "I just thought about my teammate from last year, Tu Holloway, and what we used to do in the clutch: making big time plays," Lyons said of the last possession. "I saw Patric Young on me and I just felt like it was a mismatch for me. I tried to take him one-on-one and it worked out."

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