The Wildcats took on the Cougars from Houston on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 at McKale center and came away with an emotional win. The final score was 96-90. The Wildcats were led by Jordan Hill who turned in 30 points and 18 rebounds and had the only FG in overtime by either team. The Cougars went on a 14-2 run in the final six minutes to take a 38-33 halftime lead. Coming out in the 2nd half, the Wildcats seemed like they were only going to repeat their lackluster finish of the first half.
The Wildcats trailed by 11 points with 9:51 left in the 2nd half when Aubrey Coleman was ejected for a flagrant foul after stepping on Chase Budinger's face following a charge call. Here is a clip of the foul:
This sparked the Wildcats who went on to tie the game with an amazing three pointer by Nic Wise with only 10 seconds left in the game which concluded the Wildcats scoring 8 points in the final 1:30. Nic Wise finished with 23 points on 8-13 shooting. Once in overtime, Jordan Hill had a three point play in which he scored and was fouled, putting the Wildcats up 91-88 with 3:55 to play.
The Outcome was: Satisfactory. I thought that the Wildcats should have put this one to bed in the first half when they went up 31-24. We had a total of 24 turnovers in the game, which is inexcusable. I am glad that we won, but expected this to be an eas[ier] win than it was. Let's be honest, if Kelvin Lewis makes either of those free throws with 19 seconds left, we're probably finished.
The Offensive MVP was: Jordan Hill. Come on. Are you serious? 30 points on 12-21 shooting. 18 rebounds. 6-7 from the FT line.
The Defensive MVP was: Defense. What defense? They scored 90 points. I am glad that they were only 7-33 from beyond the arc. They also were 30-83 from the field missing all 10 shots in overtime.
Bench: Coach Pennell said it best:
"Brendon (Lavender), Fendi (Onobun), and Garland (Judkinds) brought some great energy from the bench, which helped a lot."
I thought they did a great job tonight grabbing important minutes, and contributing, while allowing the starters to get a break.
Stat of the game: 24 freaking turnovers. Come on guys. Get it together.
One Observation: Arizona cut to the basket a lot more this game than the ASU game. It produced more chances at the line, double teams by Houston creating open looks elsewhere and more bodies near the paint allowing us to grab 14 offensive rebounds. I hope that this game will spark our team to come out with an attitude from the beginning of the game and not need someone's face to get stepped on just to light a fire.
Next Game: Home against Washington. Thursday, January 29. 6:30 p.m. FS Arizona.