The Arizona Basketball team (21-11, 10-8) bounced back on Wednesday afternoon with a much needed win against the Washington Huskies!
Just days after losing to the Washington Huskies at home in their final regular season game, the Arizona Basketball team returned to action, beating the Huskies by a 77-70 final!
The Wildcats played great perimeter defense throughout the game, disrupting passing lanes and just being more aggressive in general.
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Freshman Josh Green arguably played his best game as a Wildcat. Guarding the talented freshman forward in Jalen McDaniels, he was able to help disrupt his day, holding him to just 10 points on 3-9 shooting.
Josh and Nico Mannion shot a combined 50 percent from the field and 55 percent from long-range, which is great to see as they have both struggled most of the year being able to shoot the deep ball at an above average rate.
Green would lead the team in scoring, finishing the game with 19 points and four rebounds, while Nico would end his day with 14 points, two assists and four steals.
You could tell the goal was to contain the Huskies’ guards and perimeter players, rather than trying to double Isaiah Stewart, who dominated again today by scoring 29 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Overall, I feel like there was a different vibe being given off from the Wildcats where they seemed like they were fighting for their lives and not taking any plays off on both ends of the floor. Another important factor that Arizona improved in this game was: free throw shooting. Making 22-29 of them tonight, especially Nico knocking down a few key ones down the stretch was huge for them to close the game out.
As a team, they have shot 73 percent from the line throughout the season, so if they can keep shooting at a better rate, then it will only benefit them down the road into March Madness.
While the Wildcats were good at the foul line, they still struggled in other areas from the field and long-range. Not being able to shoot over 40 percent in either area is still concerning as they will be facing better opponents coming up in the Pac-12 tournament, and will need to be a lot more efficient on the offensive end.
Since moving to the starting lineup 16 games ago, it seems that Stone Gettings has seemed to struggle fitting in with the first unit.
He has only scored in double figures four times, while playing with the starters, which is concerning because when coach Sean Miller inserted him in there he thought that he was going to get consistent production playing next to Zeke Nnaji.
He is a very streaky scorer that relies on his three point shooting mostly and when he is not hitting from there, it is hard for him to produce on the offensive end of the floor. It was also nice to see some production from Jemarl Baker off the bench, scoring eight points, three rebounds, and three assists which is much-needed considering how inconsistent the Wildcats guards and wings have been.
Next up is the University of Southern California Trojans at 2:30 MST, where the Arizona Wildcats open the game as five-point favorites. We will see who can get the edge as the two have split their two games played so far in the regular season. Can Josh and Nico lead Arizona to another impressive win in the Pac-12 Tournament? Hopefully!