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Cats, Buffs Meet in Boulder on Saturday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/20/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 20, 2012

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Time: 4 p.m. MST
Location: Coors Events Center (11,043), Boulder, Colo.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA-TV/FOX Sports Arizona/FOX College Sports Central (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams)

GAME DATA: Arizona (13-6, 4-2 Pac-12) wraps up its first-ever Pac-12 Rocky Mountain road swing at Colorado (12-6, 4-2 Pac-12) Saturday at the Coors Events Center ... While Saturday’s game marks UA’s seventh appearance in Boulder, but it is the Cats’ debut in the Coors Events Center ... In five true road games this season, Arizona outscores its hosts by 6.2 points per game, outshoots the opposition .451 (125-of-277) to .385 (116-of-301) and has made twice as many treys (35-17) in building a 3-2 road record ... UA last played in Boulder on Dec. 3, 1973, a 91-76 UA win.

THE RANKINGS: UA remains unranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls this week.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his third season at the University of Arizona and his eighth overall as a college head coach with a record of 179-76 (.702) and 59-29 (.670) at Arizona ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight ... He was named Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach of the Year ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 15 trips to the postseason in his 18 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/6 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, 17 of 18 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 1-0 vs. Colorado as a head coach.

LAST TIME OUT: Holding a five-point lead at the break, Arizona broke things open early in the second period with a 20-2 run over 4:26 to essentially put things away in the 77-51 win at Utah Thursday. UA shot 58 percent from the field, including 6-of-12 from three-point range, and scored 44 of its 77 points in the second half. Kevin Parrom and Kyle Fogg led four Wildcats in double figures with 12 points apiece, while Jesse Perry pulled down 10 rebounds.

SCOUTING COLORADO: The Buffaloes enter today’s game with a 12-6 record (4-2 Pac-12) following Thursday’s 69-54 win over Arizona State. On the year, Colorado averages 70.1 points, shoots 45.5 percent from the floor (423-of-930), 37.6 percent (114-of-303) from three-point range and 70.6 percent (302-of-428) from the line. Opponents average 62.2 points, are outrebounded by 6.1 boards per game and shoot 39.5 percent from the floor (397-of-1,006). Individually, four CU players average in double-figures, led by Carlon Brown’s 13.1 ppg average. Andre Roberson leads the Buffs with an 11.3 rebounds per game average.

THE SERIES: Today’s game is the 14th meeting of the two schools with Colorado holding an 8-5 series advantage. Arizona captured the last three meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 2, 1960, by a 91-87 count in overtime on Nov. 24, 2009, in the Maui Invitational. Ten of the previous 13 meetings came in the 1960s. All-time, Arizona is 3-3 in series games played in Tucson, 1-5 in Boulder, and 1-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 47 in the UA media guide.

LAST MEETING: Arizona 91, Colorado 87 (OT), Nov. 24, 2009: In what was a tight game throughout, Arizona’s Nic Wise proved to be the difference as the Wildcats prevailed in overtime during the consolation-bracket game. The senior point guard was a steadying influence when UA needed it most, scoring 16 of Arizona’s last 19 points in the contest, including eight of 11 points in the extra session. All told, Wise tallied 22 of his career-high 30 points in the final 25 minutes.

THAT’S TWO GRAND: Not only is today’s match-up the first of these Mountain Time Zone Rivals in Pac-12 play, but the contest also spotlights the conference’s top two active scoring leaders in Colorado’s Carlon Brown and Arizona’s Kyle Fogg, who have combined for 2,179 career points. Heading into Saturday’s game, Brown (1,090 points) holds a scant one-point lead over Fogg (1,089 points).

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: On the strength of solid three-point shooting and work on the glass, Arizona held a 33-27 halftime lead Thursday at Utah. While the five-point margin to the positive might not seem like much, it was just the second time Arizona has held the halftime lead in its last five conference games. On the year, Arizona is 10-1 when leading at the half.

A COMFORTABLE MARGIN: Bolstered by a 44-23 second-half scoring advantage, Arizona rolled to a 26-point win Thursday at Utah. It was the Wildcats second-largest winning margin in any game this season (40 vs. Bryant on Dec. 22), but it was the program’s biggest winning margin in a regular season conference game in the Sean Miller era. Incidentally, it was UA’s biggest win since an 81-45 win at Oregon State on March 6, 2008.

SLOW BOIL: In Arizona’s six conference games to date, the Wildcats have seemingly taken its collective time to get things going. As was the case Thursday, when the Cats outscored Utah 44-23 in the second half, Arizona has outscored its six league opponents by an average of 5.1 points per game in the second half. To take that a step further, UA outshoots its opponents .482 (66-of-137) to .391 (61-of-156), including .415-.279 from three-point range, to go with a +1.8 rebound margin.

ON FIRE: The Wildcats connected on 12-of-24 (.500) three-point field goal attempts Thursday, marking the third time this season that the team has shot 50 percent or better from behind the arc this season, and the second time in the last three games. The Cats were an equal 6-of-12 from long range in each half in Salt Lake City and those six treys in the first half were helpful, as that was half of the team’s 12 first-half field goals. Over the last three games, Arizona is shooting .492 (31-of-61) from three-point range.

BALL SECURITY: Arizona committed just nine turnovers in Thursday’s win, just the fourth time this season that the Cats have finished a game with fewer than 10. UA enjoyed a 17-9 advantage in turnovers at Utah and improved to 6-1 this season when committing fewer turnovers that the opposition, but Thursday’s win was Arizona’s first such win away from home. The Wildcats’ 17:9 assist:turnover ratio Thursday was its second best of the season.

CONTROLLING THE GLASS: Arizona posted a 39-29 rebound advantage in Thursday’s win, building most of that advantage in the first half (21-13). The +10 rebound margin was the fifth time this season that Arizona has outrebounded an opponent by 10 or more and the first in Pac-12 play. UA has outrebounded 14 of 19 opponents on the year and is 11-3 when accomplishing the feat. Interestingly, Arizona held a 10-6 advantage on the offensive boards, marking the second time in league play that Arizona has held such an advantage.

ALWAYS ON THE RUN: Once again Thursday, Arizona posted a sizeable run, this time it was a 20-2 burst that covered 4:26 of the second half. Ignited by a Kyle Fogg jumper with 17:08 remaining, UA connected on 7-of-9 shots during the run, while limiting the Utes to just 1-of-6 shooting. Five different Wildcats scored in the run and four of the seven FGs were treys.

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Arizona limited Utah to 32.0 percent shooting in the second half (8-of-25) and 40.4 percent (19-of-47), continuing a stretch that has seen the Wildcats hold its six conference opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. In its six Pac-12 games, UA opponents have shot a cumulative 125-of-321 (.389) from the field. Only one league opponent to date has shot better than 44 percent from the field against Arizona (Oregon, .453).

STOLEN MOMENTS: With two players collecting two apiece Thursday, Arizona collected 10 steals at Utah, equaling a season high. The Cats continue to show improvement in this statistical category, as its current 6.7 steals per game average in Pac-12 play is an improvement over its 5.9 spg figure through 19 games. Individually, Josiah Turner leads Arizona with a 1.2 steals per game figure.

SHOOTING GUARDS: Look no further than the Wildcat guards for a group that provided more than a bit of offensive efficiency in Thursday’s win. UA’s backcourt trio of Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson and Kyle Fogg combined to hit 11-of-19 shots from the floor (.579), including 5-of-9 (.556) from three-point range, and score 33 of the team’s 77 points. In the second half alone, the three Cats hit 5-of-8 shots and tallied 18 points. Through 19 games, the UA starting backcourt combines to average 28.6 ppg.

50 TIMES: Thursday’s 12-point effort for Kyle Fogg marked the 50th game of his career with 10 or more points. In his 123-game collegiate career, Arizona is 36-14 when Fogg reaches double figures. He’s scored 10 or more points 11 times in 19 games this season.

ANOTHER STEP UP: Freshman Josiah Turner continues to make positive strides, as witnessed by his 10 points, two assists and two steals Thursday at Utah. It marked the second straight game in double figures for the 6-foot-3 native of Sacramento, Calif. In Pac-12 play, Turner is averaging 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game, while ranking second on the team with 23 free throw attempts.

DOUBLE FIGURES: Senior Jesse Perry notched his eighth career game with 10 or more rebounds Thursday at Utah. The 6-foot-7 forward from St. Louis, Mo., currently ranks second on the team with a 7.3 rebounds per game average and his 139 rebounds is just 30 shy of his total from all of last season. He ranks second among all Pac-12 players with six double-doubles in 2011-12.

GROWING UP: Freshman Nick Johnson seems to be adjusting to the rigors of conference play, as he is averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game over his last three outings to go with a 47.8 (11-of-23) field goal percentage. That figure includes a 58.3 percentage (7-of-12) from three-point range. He connected on 3-of-4 three-point attempts Thursday en route to 11 points and four boards at Utah.

SCORING 80: It took an extra session to do it, but Arizona scored 81 points Jan. 12 against Oregon State, topping the 80-point plateau for the fifth time this year (5-0). Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 205-19 (.915) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.

RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Brandon Ashley (F, 6-8, 215) from Oakland, Calif., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Grant Jerrett (F, 6-10, 220) from LaVerne, Calif., who preps at LaVerne Lutheran H.S.; Kaleb Tarczewski (C, 7-0, 220) from Southborough, Mass., who preps at St. Mark’s School; and Gabe York (G, 6-1, 170) from Orange, Calif., who preps at Orange Lutheran H.S.; make up a class that was ranked No. 1 nationally by espn.com and rivals.com.

UP NEXT: Arizona next will be in action on Thursday, Jan. 26, when the Cats host Washington State in McKale Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FOX Sports Net.

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