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Cats, Hurricanes Meet in Diamond Head Classic Semifinal
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/23/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Dec. 23, 2012

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Date: Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m. HST
Location: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300), Honolulu, Hawaii
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: ESPN2 (Roxy Bernstein/Miles Simon)

GAME DATA: Fourth-ranked Arizona (10-0, 0-0 Pac-12) plays in the semifinals of the 2012 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, where it will face Miami (8-1, 0-0 ACC) ... The Wildcats and Hurricanes meet for the first time since Dec. 19, 1989, an 83-53 UA win in Tucson ... From the "Something Has to Give" file, both teams are averaging better than 72 points per game (UA 78.2/UM 72.4) and allow less than 60 points per game (UA 78.2/UM 59.6) ... The teams have also combined to win 17 straight games ... All-time, Arizona is 18-9 (.667) in games played in Hawaii.

THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked fourth in the Associated Press poll and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Cats' No. 4 ranking is the highest for the program under Sean Miller, and the first time UA has been ranked in the top five in both polls since coming in at No. 3 in each on Jan. 5, 2004.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 1-0 vs. Miami, Fla., as a head coach.

LAST TIME OUT: Arizona scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back in defeating East Tennessee State, 73-53, in the first round of the 2012 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The Wildcats held the Buccaneers to just 22 percent shooting in the first half, and 31 percent shooting overall, in building as much as a 30-point lead. Led by Brandon Ashley's 16 points and 10 rebounds, UA enjoyed a 28-10 advantage in points in the paint and a +19 rebound margin. Seven different Wildcats scored at least seven points.

SCOUTING MIAMI: The Hurricanes enter tonight's game with an 8-1 record (0-0 ACC) following a 73-58 win Saturday over Hawaii. On the season, Miami averages 72.4 points per game, shoots 47.9 percent from the floor (227-of-475), 37.3 percent (59-of-158) from three-point range and 70.6 percent (139-of-197) from the line. Opponents average 59.6 points, are outrebounded by 2.8 per game and shoot 38.2 percent from the floor (195-of-511). Individually, five Hurricanes players average in double figures, led by Durand Scott's 16.3 ppg figure. Reggie Johnson leads Miami in rebounding at 10.1 rebounds per game.

THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the third meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 2-0 series advantage. Both previous meetings occurred on campus, including the last in Tucson on Dec. 19, 1989, an 83-53 UA win. For more series information, please see page 47 in the UA media guide.

AGAINST THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE: All-time, Arizona is 23-16 (.590) all-time against teams that currently reside in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and is 5-6 against the league dating back to the start of the 2004-05 season. Arizona last faced an ACC foe on Dec. 8, 2012, winning at Clemson, 66-54. Since taking over at Arizona, Sean Miller is 5-0 against ACC foes. For more information on series against the conferences, please see page 51 of the UA media guide.

A WIN TONIGHT ... would be the 200th career victory in the collegiate coaching career of Sean Miller. He carries a 199-82 (.708) record in eight-plus seasons as a head coach. He posted a 120-47 (.719) in five seasons at Xavier and is 79-35 (.693) in three-plus seasons at Arizona.

COMFORTABLE: The Wildcats' 20-point win in Saturday's quarterfinal was the team's sixth this season by 20 or more points. Through 10 games, UA has a +18.9 scoring margin. In fact, Saturday's win over East Tennessee State was Arizona's fifth this season in which the team never trailed at any point of the contest.

BOARD WORK: For the eighth time in 10 starts, Arizona won the rebounding battle, outrebounding East Tennessee State, 46-27. Seven of those eight contests have seen Arizona post a rebound advantage of 10 or more. Six Wildcats collected five rebounds in yesterday's win and UA's current +9.8 rebound margin ranks second among Pac-12 clubs. Arizona is 58-13 (.817) in the Sean Miller era when outrebounding the opposition.

AT THE LINE: UA has attempted 233 free throws to date, an average of 23.3 per game. Add in the fact that the Wildcats connect at a .773 clip (made 180) and that becomes a formidable offensive weapon. Arizona averages 18.0 points per game from the stripe and has made 83 more free throws on the year than the opposition. The Cats have outscored foes by 10 or more points from the line five times this year. UA has outscored the opposition from the free throw line in each of the last nine games.

OFF THE MARK: Arizona connected on just 42.4 percent of its field goal attempts (25-of-59) vs. ETSU, a figure that was the second lowest by the Cats this season. The Cats, who entered the game shooting 49.5 percent from the field, are shooting a respectable 47.0 percent (150-of-319) from the field during the month of December.

A GOOD EXAMPLE: Arizona's freshmen inside players Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley set the proper tone in Saturday's win by connecting on 9-of-13 shots (.692) from the field. Such an effort helped Arizona post a 28-10 advantage in points in the paint.

HE HAS THEM ALL: Forward Brandon Ashley notched his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds vs. the Buccaneers. The 6-foot-8 freshman from San Francisco, Calif., connected on 5-of-8 field goal attempts and 6-of-7 free throws in just 22 minutes of action. Ashley has both of Arizona's double-doubles this season. On the year, he is averaging 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

MAKING THE MOST OF IT: He may have the fewest shot attempts of any UA starter (4.2 per game), but center Kaleb Tarczewski does make the most of them by shooting a team-best .619 (26-of-42) from the field. Saturday vs. ETSU, the 7-foot freshman connected on 4-of-5 attempts to finish with eight points, while adding seven rebounds. On the season, Tarczewski is averaging 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

MORE ACTIVITY: The last two games have seen a more active Angelo Chol on the boards. Against both Oral Roberts and ETSU, the 6-foot-9 sophomore from San Diego, Calif., has grabbed six rebounds, to double his output on the season. He now has 23 rebounds in his 10 appearances.

STEPPING IN: Freshman Grant Jerrett has enjoyed a productive week, as the 6-foot-10 forward from Chino Hills, Calif., has averaged 11 points and 3.5 rebounds in wins over Oral Roberts and ETSU. He's connected on 9-of-14 field goal attempts (.643), including 4-of-7 (.571) from three-point range. Yesterday against ETSU, Jerrett tallied seven points, three boards and a pair of blocked shots. He's shooting 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from three-point range this season.

ALWAYS ON THE RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. Saturday against ETSU, the Wildcats used a 25-8 run to open the first half. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
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
25-8 run over 8:41 (1st) vs. East Tennessee State, Dec. 22
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
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 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
14-4 run over 5:48 (2nd) vs. Southern Miss, Dec. 4

UP NEXT: Pending tonight's result, Arizona will face either Indiana State or San Diego State tomorrow. The third-place game would take place, Dec. 25, at 2:30 p.m. HST on ESPN2, while the championship game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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