Feb. 22, 2013
Date: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach) [Sirius/XM: 92/190]
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Note: This game will be carried on FOX Sports Arizona Plus in Arizona and New Mexico and on FSN for the rest of the country. Please CLICK HERE to locate the plus channel on your system.
GAME DATA: No. 12 Arizona (22-4, 10-4 Pac-12) plays its penultimate home game of the regular season Saturday afternoon against Washington State (11-16, 2-12 Pac-12) in McKale Center on FSN ... Over the last five games, eight Wildcats are averaging better than 14.0 minutes per game ... In its last five home games, Arizona is averaging 71.8 ppg, or eight points more than Washington State has averaged in its last five road games ... UA is 8-0 when playing on Saturday this season.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 12th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, falling out of the top 10 in both polls for the first time in 13 weeks. The Wildcats are one of 11 teams nationally to have been ranked in every AP poll this season.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 5-2 vs. Washington State as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona got a balanced offensive attack and a solid defensive effort in running away from Washington, 70-52, on Wednesday. UA placed five players in double figures and used a 30-8 run over 12:57 of both halves to break things open. The Cats outrebounded the Huskies by six and limited UW to 31 percent shooting from the field, including nine percent from three-point range. Solomon Hill kickstarted the run by scoring eight of his game-high 19 points early on and Kaleb Tarczewski pulled down eight boards.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars enter today's game with an 11-16 record (2-12 Pac-12) following Wednesday's 69-57 loss at Arizona State. On the season, Washington State averages 63.9 points per game, shoots 42.2 percent from the floor (602-of-1,428), 34.4 percent (193-of-561) from three-point range and 68.0 percent (329-of-484) from the line. Opponents average 62.7 points, are outrebounded by 1.6 per game and shoot 42.5 percent from the floor (599-of-1,410). Individually, four WSU players average in double figures, led by Brock Motum's 17.8 ppg figure. He also leads the Cougars in rebounding at 6.2 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: This afternoon's game is the 73rd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 56-16 series advantage. Arizona has won 49 of the last 55 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including the last, a 79-65 win on Feb. 2 in Pullman. All-time, Arizona is 27-8 in series games played in Tucson, 24-8 in Pullman, Wash., and 5-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 50 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 79, Washington State 65, Feb. 2, 2013: Solomon Hill got Arizona started and Mark Lyons finished strong as Arizona claimed its first road sweep of the season. Hill scored all 18 of his points in the first half, while Lyons tallied 13 of his 20 points in the second. Hill sank 6-of-10 treys in the contest and spearheaded a UA attack that saw the Cats hit 11 three-pointers overall and commit just nine turnovers. Arizona held a double-digit lead for the final 26 minutes.
ANOTHER McKALE MILESTONE: In this, its 40th full season of basketball, the McKale Center will surpass another milestone during today's game. When the 4,808th fan enters the building, Arizona's all-time men's basketball attendance in McKale will surpass the eight-million mark. To date, the Wildcats have attracted 7,995,193 fans in 626 games, good for an average attendance figure of 12,772 per contest, or 88 percent of its current listed capacity (14,538).
TEN WINS: Arizona won its 10th conference game of the season Wednesday, reaching that plateau for the fourth straight year. Additionally, it marks the 28th time in the 35 years that the school has been a Pac-12 member that the program has won 10 or more league games. As of Feb. 22, only UCLA (30) has more 10-win conference seasons than Arizona with Stanford (19) and California (16) rounding out the top four.
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT: Arizona limited Washington to 52 points in Wednesday's win, which was the 10th time this season that the Cats have held an opponent to 55 points or less. In the previous five games, UA opponents were averaging 68.6 points per game. Through 26 games, Arizona limits opponents to an average of 62.5 points per game, a figure that ranks second in the Pac-12.
BACK AT IT: After being outworked on the glass in it previous two games, Arizona has outrebounded its last two foes by a cumulative +8 margin, including a 43-37 advantage over Washington on Wednesday. To date, Arizona carries a +6.5 rebound margin (+3.4 in Pac-12 play) and has outrebounded 19 of 26 opponents to date. UA is 18-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition and 68-14 (.829) in the Sean Miller era.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Wildcats limited Washington to just 30.8 percent shooting (20-of-65) Wednesday, including a UA opponent season second-half low of .265 (9-of-34). It was the 15th time this year that Arizona has limited an opponent to less than 40-percent shooting, seven times in Pac-12 play. UA opponents are shooting a cumulative .404 (580-of-1,437) from the floor through 26 games. In the last two games, Arizona has held Utah and Washington to a combined .347 (41-of-118) field goal percentage.
SCORING OFFENSE: Arizona scored 70 points Wednesday vs. Washington, the best offensive output in four games. While that figure is the norm in Pac-12 play, Arizona averages 70.7 points per game through 14 league games, that number also looms large when looking at season-long trends. UA is 14-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points.
LOW NUMBERS: For whatever reason, Arizona's three-point field goal defense against the Huskies has been spectacular. In the two games this season against UW, Arizona has limited them to a combined 2-of-23 shooting (.087) shooting from behind the arc. In the first half in Seattle (0-of-5) and the second half in Tucson (0-of-8), the Huskies went without a single long-range bucket. The .083 mark on Jan. 31 and the .091 figure Wednesday were the two lowest three-point field goal percentages of the season vs. Arizona.
COUNT ON THEM: It's not surprising that Solomon Hill (19) and Mark Lyons (14) would end Wednesday's game as Arizona's top scorers. They are the top two scorers on the team and have led the Cats in scoring a combined 20 times in 26 games so far. What was interesting about Wednesday's effort was that Hill and Lyons did practically all of the scoring in the first half, tallying 24 of Arizona's first 28 points and 26 of 33 in the period.
WORTH NOTING: No one has ever doubted Mark Lyons' ability to put the ball in the basket. The 6-foot-1 senior proved his worth yet again on Wednesday by igniting what turned out to be the decisive stretch in the game by scoring 10 points in only 90 seconds. From that point, UA turned a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead by the end of the first half and eventually stretched it to 22 in the second half. Lyons enters today's game just nine points shy of 1,600 for his career (12.8 ppg), a figure that would make him an elite scorer just about anywhere. At Xavier and Arizona, there have been a total of 26 players in history score 1,600 or more points.
LAST LINE OF DEFENSE: Arizona averages 4.0 blocked shots per game, but swatted away eight shots in Wednesday's win, the second highest single-game total of the season. In true Wildcat fashion, it was a team effort that did it, as five players blocked at least one shot against Washington. To date, five Wildcats have double-digit blocked shot totals, led by Grant Jerrett's 23.
DIALED IN: The Wildcats connected on 60.9 percent of its field goal attempts (14-of-23) in the second half of Wednesday's victory, posting a 60-percent shooting half for the seventh time this season. Interestingly, five of the team's seven 60-percnet halves in 2012-13 have come in the second half.
CENTER OF ATTENTION: Center Kaleb Tarczewski tallied 10 points and eight rebounds Wednesday, collecting his fifth double-figure scoring game of the season. Additionally, it was the 14th time this season that the 7-foot freshman from Claremont, N.H., has pulled down five or more rebounds. Over the last five games, Tarczewski is shooting .632 (12-of-19) from the field. He's averaging 6.2 points and 5.5 rebounds on the season.
QUICK HITS: Sophomore guard Nick Johnson has 26 assists in his last six games and ranks second in the Pac-12 in steals (2.2 spg) to date. He's passed out five or more assists seven times this season ... Solomon Hill moved into 10th place on Arizona's career games played list with his 130th career appearance Wednesday.
BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. Wednesday vs. Washington, the Wildcats used a 30-8 run to close the first half, open the second and pull ahead for good. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
30-8 run over 12:57 (1st+2nd) vs. Washington, Feb. 20
27-8 run over 6:53 (2nd+ot) vs. Colorado, Jan. 3
21-4 run over 9:07 (2nd) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
23-6 run over 7:55 (1st) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
18-4 run over 6:28 (1st) vs. USC, Jan. 26
13-0 run over 4:26 (2nd) vs. UTEP, Nov. 15
14-2 run over 4:10 (2nd) vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 28
22-10 run over 9:27 (1st) vs. Charleston Southern, Nov. 11
11-0 run over 3:38 (2nd) at Arizona State, Jan. 19
11-0 run over 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: Following today's game, the Wildcats next will be in action on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when the squad heads west to Los Angeles to take on USC. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PST and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.