After getting out to a huge lead early in the Wooden Legacy, the Arizona Wildcats let off the gas pedal, and the Santa Clara Broncos somehow forced overtime, keeping the game close for the majority of the second half.
Jared Brownridge set a Wooden Legacy Tournament record, dropping 44 points on 11-29 shooting. He also went 15-15 from the free throw line in the Broncos' upset bid.
Arizona did manage to pull it out in overtime for a 75-73 win, and everything was weird. I'm honestly not sure what happened at the end, and I don't think anyone is, but it was Thanksgiving, so we're all thankful that game's over and the Wildcats are still undefeated.
Here are some major things that happened:
Trier for Tollefsen: For the first time this year, Mark Tollefsen did not start for the Wildcats, and it should remain that way based on how successful he was in this one, at least until the end of regulation and overtime. The San Francisco transfer finished the night with 13 points and five rebounds. As the teams went to the locker room for halftime, Tollefsen was tied with Kaleb Tarczewski for the team lead in scoring with seven.
At the end of regulation, Tollefsen committed an awful foul going for a defensive rebound, which allowed Santa Clara to tie it up from the charity line. He then went right back to that move on the first possession of overtime, which was his fifth foul, and ended his night prematurely.
Kaleb injures ankle: Just what we didn't want to see: Kaleb Tarczewski went down grabbing at his left ankle in the second half. When we find out more, we'll have more, but it didn't look great when it happened. Zeus had 12 points and eight rebounds before suffering the injury.
Double-double machine: Welcome back Ryan Anderson. A nice little double-double, and when he was getting the ball, Arizona was being productive. He just didn't get the ball enough in his 17 point, 11 rebound effort. It also felt like all six of his made shots were huge boosts to team morale, and led to the win.
Stopping the star: This is kind of concerning, as Arizona had one player to stop, and they couldn't do it. Jared Brownridge was the only Santa Clara player to worry about, and he couldn't be stopped. He scored 44 of the Broncos' 73 points on the night. This does not bode well for trying to stop Kris Dunn of Providence on Friday. No other Santa Clara player scored more than six points.
Hitting the offensive glass: This is probably the reason the Wildcats were able to win this game. They came up with a huge disparity in the offensive rebounds category (17 to 5), leading to 17 second-chance points. Without Anderson's six offensive rebounds, we're probably talking about the biggest upset of the entire college basketball season instead of a close win.
Sketchy substitutions: We saw no Allonzo Trier or Dusan Ristic for a huge chunk of the end of the game. Having a cold-shooting Gabe York (3-15, 1-10 from three) and an overmatched Elliott Pitts out there in the crucial minutes in a close game seemed really bizarre.
As hinted above, Arizona plays the Providence Friars in the Wooden Legacy Tournament semifinals on Friday. That game will also tip at 9:30 PM MST, so more late night hoops for Wildcat fans this weekend.