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Cats, Devils Battle Sunday in Tempe
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/08/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 8, 2011

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Date: Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
Time: 7 p.m. MST
Location: Wells Fargo Arena (10,734), Tempe, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

Game Data:  Fifteenth-ranked Arizona (20-4, 9-2 Pac-10) closes a three-game road trip at Arizona State (9-14, 1-10 Pac-10) Sunday at Wells Fargo Arena as part of the State Farm Territorial Cup Series ... It's the first of three consecutive national television appearances for the Wildcats (2 FSN/1 ESPN) ... The Wildcats and Sun Devils meet on the hardwood for the 220th time ... The last six series meetings at Wells Fargo Arena have been decided by an average of 6.7 points per game with thee decided by three points or less and one overtime affair; UA has prevailed in four of those six tilts ... Saturday's triple overtime win at California was the first time the Cats had topped the 100-point plateau in the Sean Miller era.

 

The Rankings:  Arizona is ranked 15th in this week's Associated Press poll and 16th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll.  It marks the first time the Cats have been ranked in both national polls simultaneously in back-to-back weeks since Dec. 24 & 31, 2007.

 

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 156-65 (.706) and 36-18 (.667) at Arizona ... 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 last 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 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) 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, all 17 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 and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 3-2 vs. Arizona State as a head coach.

 

Last Time Out:  It took three overtimes to do so, but Arizona earned one of its most memorable victories in quite a while by outlasting California last Saturday, 107-105, in Berkeley.  MoMo Jones converted a game-tying conventional three-point play with 16 seconds to go in regulation, another tying trey with five seconds to go in the second overtime, and added the go-ahead-for-good lay-up with 1:03 left in the third extra period en route to a career-high 27, while Kevin Parrom scored 13 of his career-best 25 in the extra periods to go with six boards and six assists and Derrick Williams added 12 points and 18 rebounds. The Wildcat bench outscored Cal, 52-3, in the 275-minute affair, which was UA's longest game since 1973.

 

Scouting Arizona State:  The Sun Devils enter tonight's game with a 9-14 record (1-10 Pac-10) following an 85-73 loss Saturday at Stanford.  On the season, Arizona State averages 64.2 points, shoots 42.7 percent from the floor (529-of-1238), 34.7 percent (172-of-496) from three-point range and 64.2 percent (247-of-385) from the line.  Opponents average 66.5 points, outrebound ASU by 3.7 boards per game and shoot 43.0 percent from the floor (533-of-1239).  Individually, two ASU players average in double-figures, led by Trent Lockett's 14.0 points per game figure.  Kyle Cain leads Arizona State with a 5.7 rebounds per game average.

 

The Series:  Today's game is the 220th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 140-79 series advantage.  Arizona has won 26 of the last 33 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including the last, an 80-69 decision on Jan. 15 in Tucson.  All-time, Arizona is 78-28 in series games played in Tucson, 61-50 in Tempe, and 1-1 in neutral-site games.  For more series information, please see page 42 in the UA media guide.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 80, Arizona State 69, Jan. 15, 2011:  Powered by Derrick Williams' fifth double-double of the season, Arizona posted an 11-point win over its intrastate rival.  Williams equaled a career high with 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, including 18 points in the second half.  He scored nine points in a 23-6 run that covered nine minutes of the first half that gave UA control for good.  Arizona posted a +15 rebound margin and had a 12-3 advantage in second chance points.

 

A Boost in Productivity: Lamont Jones led Arizona to its fifth consecutive win by averaging 21.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in Arizona's two games last week.  The sophomore guard connected on 52.0 percent of his field goals (13-of-25), including two treys, to go with 87.5 percent shooting (14-of-16) from the line, while collecting three steals.  Jones opened the week by connecting on 4-of-7 field goals en route to 15 points, one assist and a pair of steals at Stanford in which 12 of his 15 points came in the second half.  He was even better against California, scoring a career-high 27 points (9-of-18 FG), while adding a rebound, assist and steal in UA's triple-overtime win. Jones' heroics extended and eventually won the 107-105 thriller by hitting a game-tying three-point play with 16 seconds to go in regulation, another tying trey with five seconds to go in the second overtime, and the go-ahead-for-good lay-up with 1:03 left in the third extra period.  "MoMo" has now scored in double figures in six straight games and his 21.0 ppg figure last week was more than double his season scoring average. The effort boosted Jones' season per game averages to 9.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists to go with a .470 field goal percentage.

 

A Score of Wins:  For a program that used to roll to 20-win seasons as easily as the printing of Confederate money, Arizona notched its 20th win of the season with a 107-105 triple-overtime thriller Saturday at California. It is the 32nd 20-win season in Arizona history and the fifth for Sean Miller in seven seasons as a head coach. Arizona last won 20 games in 2008-09 (21-14) and had a streak of 20 straight seasons from 1987-88 to 2006-07.

 

A Few Mind-Clearing Notes:  With a pair of wins last week, Arizona has now won five consecutive games and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 Conference standings.  The five straight wins equal the longest win streak of the season and the longest of the Sean Miller era ... UA's 107-105 triple overtime win at California was the first triple OT game since Feb. 23, 1973 - a 101-95 UA win over Utah ... Coach Sean Miller seems to like extra sessions, as his record improved to 4-1 in overtime games as the UA head coach. Additionally, it was Arizona's first 100-point game since a 101-87 win over Stanford on March 7, 2009, a span of 60 games.

 

Road Warriors:  Arizona's Bay Area sweep last weekend upped the Wildcat record to 6-2 in true road games this season and 4-2 in Pac-10 play.  That is as many road wins as the program managed in the previous two seasons combined (2 in 2008-09, 4 in 2009-10).  It was the first time UA had swept a weekend pair of Pac-10 road games since Feb. 5-7, 2009, at Oregon and Oregon State.  Additionally, Arizona averages a robust 78.1 points per game in eight true road games this season.

 

A Nice Contribution:  Simply put, Arizona doesn't win Saturday without Kevin Parrom.  The sophomore swingman posted a career-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, six assists (career best) and two steals.  Parrom connected on 9-of-12 (both career highs) field goal attempts, including 3-of-5 from three-point range in the contest, while 13 of those points came in the overtime periods.  In those OT periods, he was 4-of-4 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free throw line.  Parrom and Lamont Jones combined to score 25 of Arizona's 31 points in the overtime periods in Berkeley.

 

Every Man Counts:  Arizona's depth played a key role in Saturday's game, as Arizona's bench outscored California's 52-3.  All told, 10 of the 11 UA players to see action scored points and despite playing three overtimes, no Wildcat logged more than 39 minutes of action.  Conversely, three California players played 53 minutes or more.

 

Battling on the Boards:  Led by Derrick Williams' 18 rebounds (14 defensive boards), Arizona outrebounded California, 45-39.  UA improved to 15-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition, including a 7-0 record in Pac-10 play.  On the season, Arizona is outrebounding opponents by an average of 5.1 rebounds per game, the best effort for the program in four years.  Individually, four UA players average 4.0 rebounds or better in 2010-11.  Take note that Derrick Williams has the top two single-game rebound performances in the Pac-10 this season:  19 at Washington State on Jan. 22 and 18 at California on Saturday.

 

He's Pretty Good, Too:  Derrick Williams wrapped up another solid week by averaging 16.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in UA's pair of wins to go with a .591 (13-of-22) field goal percentage.  He opened the week with 21 points and eight boards Thursday at Stanford and followed that up with 12 points and 18 rebounds Saturday at California.  Overall, Williams notched his 52nd consecutive game in double figures dating back to last season, his 11th game of 20 or more points and his eighth double-double this year.  He's averaging 19.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game to date.

 

Scoring 20:  With two guys scoring 20 or more points in Saturday's win (Jones 27/Parrom 25), it marked the first time this season that two Wildcats scored 20 or more points in the same game.  On the season, Arizona players have registered 17 games with 20 or more points:  Williams 11, Jones 3, Parrom 2, Hill 1.

 

42 for Three:  Senior Jamelle Horne connected on 3-of-4 three-point attempts at California to lead Arizona to a season high of 14 treys (in 34 attempts).  Interestingly, the 6-foot-7 forward, who leads the Cats with 30 triples on the season, is more likely to hit multiple treys than he is to hit one.  In the 13 games in which Horne has made at least one three-point FG, he has made two or more 10 times and one just once.  In fact, in the games in which he makes a trey, Horne connects on 57.7 percent of his attempts from behind the arc (30-of-52).  Furthermore, he ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with a .435 three-point field goal percentage and is one of four UA players ranked in the top-six places.

 

Winning the Close Ones:  With an average scoring margin of 11.8 points per game, Arizona hasn't had a lot of close games, but the Wildcats have been good at winning them when they have one.  The win over California improved UA's record to 4-1 in games decided by five points or less.  Incidentally, two of Arizona's three two-point wins this season have come against the Golden Bears.

 

In Reserve:  Two UA backcourt reserves, Jordin Mayes and Brendon Lavender, made the most of their field goal Saturday at California.  The duo connected on 4-of-11 attempts, but each was a trey, and Lavender added a career-high four free throws en route to a combined 16 points.  Plus, Mayes and Lavender combined for four assists.

 

Scoring 80:  Arizona scored 107 points Feb. 5 at California, topping the 80-point plateau for the 11th time this year (11-0).  Arizona has scored 80 in eight of 13 home games this season.  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 197-19 (.912) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.   Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.

 

Early Signees:  The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period.  Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.

Up Next:  Following tonight's game, the Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Feb. 17, hosting Washington State.  Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FSN.

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