clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona vs. Cal final score: Justin Cobbs helps end UA's win streak

The Wildcats lost their first game of the season with a bizarre loss and a weirder ending.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A little adversity never hurt anyone. But it does when they're actually hurt.

Arizona forward Aaron Gordon continued his abysmal shooting from the floor, hitting 4-of-14 shots and failing to get to the foul stripe once. Nick Johnson had even more serious trouble in searching for makes, going 1-for-14 from the floor. And the Golden Bears knew how to shut down point guard T.J. McConnell, thus limiting the solid looks he's often provided for the big men down low.

Give it to California Golden Bears point guard Justin Cobbs, the veteran who knocked down a fadeaway from the left wing with 0.9 seconds left and held the Arizona Wildcats point guard, McConnell, to zero assists in UA's 60-58 loss, their first in 22 games in 2013-14.

Everything went wrong and thensome against the No. 1 Wildcats on Saturday -- and we haven't even gotten to the few second after Cobbs' made game-winner, when Cal fans and the bench rushed the court, halting Arizona's inbound with less than a tick left on the clock.

Should it have been a technical? Technically, yes (Editor's note: It wasn't because referees stopped play to review Cobbs' shot anyway). To end a game like that? Probably not.

Call it the ghost of Sabatino Chen haunting Haas Pavilion.

Adversity might be healthy for a previously undefeated team, but that's until it's clear what happened to Arizona forward Brandon Ashley. He went down with a foot injury early in the first half,  and on top of it, Johnson's wrist injury should be of concern as well.

The lack of depth behind Ashley and Johnson showed.

In fact, Arizona coach Sean Miller hardly went to the bench, and the Wildcats desperately searched for shots against a packed in paint. Cal kept McConnell from feeding the big men, and even so, Kaleb Tarczewski led the way with 18 points, scoring 12 at the foul stripe.

How ironic was it that the Wildcats' most intense game came as their persistent issue, free throw shooting, was a perfect 16-for-16?

It was the spacing of the floor that seemed most doomed. The Golden Bears' frontcourt played out of its mind. David Kravish scored 14 points and added 11 boards and four blocks. Forward Richard Solomon scored 12 and added three steals and two blocks. Cobbs did it from the perimeter

Really, it came down to the UA offense being in the game despite shooting 32.3 percent.

Arizona went 2-for-11 from deep, the Cal defense sagging off Gordon so much that he wasn't even getting contested until he was 5 feet from the cup -- his apprehension on drives showed how lacking his offensive skillset is at this point. McConnell scored 13 and was, most of the time, the only shooter on the court.

The loss for the Wildcats was a long time coming.

Opponents have brushed up on defending McConnell, learned Gordon has no offensive skillset other than jumping over opponents. Mike Montgomery's team needed to play above its head and did so to shoot 44.6 percent against the still-big frontline of the Wildcats.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made up for the loss of Ashley in every way he could, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds, but in the end the struggles of his teammates were too great.

How will the Wildcats respond?

It's not bad for them to lose to a tournament-worthy team on the road, but now Arizona is not only a losing team for the first time.

It's a banged up one.