The Arizona Wildcats came into Wednesday night playing their best basketball of the season. They're accustomed to getting every team's best shot when they're on the road and everyone knew that the Colorado Buffaloes would have to deliver just that to come away with a win. What Arizona got in Boulder on Wednesday night -- Colorado's best shot. And then some.
After delivering their best shot and leaning heavily on their senior leader, Josh Scott, despite an absolutely chaotic final minute, the Buffaloes defended their home court, ending Arizona's six-game win streak, 75-72.
Arizona actually finished the game on a 7-0 run but didn't quite have enough to pull out the victory, even though Colorado fumbled all over themselves in the final minute. The madness included an absolutely ridiculous alley oop from Kadeem Allen to Kaleb Tarczewski followed by Josh Scott mishandling his dribble and Gabe York getting the steal. Down three, York dribbled the ball off of a defender's foot -- or so everyone thought. Everyone, except for the opinions that matter, the ones of the guys wearing the white and black striped shirts. All Colorado had to do was catch the in-bounds pass and get fouled. But Josh Scott traveled with 9 seconds left, while trying to evade the Wildcats trying to foul him.
After an Allonzo Trier misfire from deep, in a last second attempt to tie the game, the horn sounded and the Colorado fans stormed the court, defeating Arizona for the first time since 2013.
While the final minute was not Josh Scott's finest, the 39 minutes that preceded it may have been. He was an animal, getting buckets at the rim with relative ease. He finished with a season-high 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
It was a rough night for the Wildcats. In the first half, they couldn't get anything going offensively. In the second half, when the shots started falling, they couldn't stop Colorado. Arizona got themselves in a double-digit hole early in the second half and couldn't get themselves out of it. Every time the Wildcats did anything, Colorado had an answer.
On the surface, it may appear Arizona did a great job defensively, holding Colorado to just 41.5% shooting on the night. But the Wildcats allowed Colorado 14 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points. At the end of the day, Colorado just had too many opportunities to make sure they got the win. Despite Arizona being outplayed, they still had a very good chance at grabbing a win late. Much like every other Pac-12 road loss, Arizona quite simply ran out of time.
A few thoughts on the game...
- WHAT THIS GUY SAID:
What kind of horrible person waives this off????? https://t.co/CTc9JbCFqE— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 25, 2016
Allonzo Trier, ladies and gentlemen. That not counting is just un-American.
- It was not a banner night for the interior defense. After all, they made Josh Scott look like Demarcus Cousins a few times. Just a bullying tornado of easy buckets. But it should be noted that Kaleb Tarczewski had eight points, seven rebounds and five blocks. That's two straight games of Zeus playing up to his nickname and looking like an elite rim protector. A loss is a loss but that rim protection will come in handy in the next few weeks.
- On a night like tonight, Gabe York has to be the one to pull the team out of a shooting slump. This loss isn't on any individual and a lot of guys could have played better tonight. But in the first half when the Wildcats went through a period where they couldn't buy a bucket, York has to be the one to pull them out of it.
Arizona falls to 10-5 in the Pac-12 and 22-6 overall. It doesn't get any easier for the Wildcats travel to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Utes on Saturday afternoon.