Wednesday was supposed to be the night where Arizona got a very valuable member of its team back. But, as it was announced earlier in the day, Allonzo Trier was inactive for the game. On top of that, Kadeem Allen didn't start, as he was feeling under the weather.
The entire team appeared to be under the weather for the first ten minutes of the first half, as they only mustered nine points in that time on 4/17 shooting from the floor. The Cougars' offensive leader, Josh Hawkinson, was finding a rhythm and Wazzu found themselves leading by as much as eight. Trailing early, the Wildcats offense came alive, led by a dominant Ryan Anderson who seemed to get whatever he wanted around the rim. The Wildcats led at the break, 39-30.
The second half was more of the same. Parker Jackson-Cartwright continuously found open Wildcats on the block, using his quickness to cut and weave through the defense. He was very helpful in a game where Kadeem Allen only played seven minutes before fouling out. The defense successfully contained Hawkinson, holding him scoreless in the second half. After fending off several Cougar runs, the Wildcats finished things off, allowing only one made field goal in the final five minutes.
Ryan Anderson led the way with yet another double-double. He finished with a career-high 31 points and 12 rebounds.
A few notes on the game...
- This is the second half in a nutshell.
- Our own Ryan Kelapire wrote about the fact that Arizona needed to limit turnovers to maximize their potential. Arizona turned the ball over nine times against WSU, which isn't wonderful, but it's refreshing to see the Wildcats finish the game with a positive turnover margin as they were +5. Ryan is correct. Turnovers have been a big part of why Arizona has the amount of losses they have. If they limit those, they would be an even tougher team to put away.
- Ryan Anderson was unbelievable. I could be wrong but that looked like the most dominant performance any Wildcat has had since Derrick Williams.
Arizona improves to 18-5 and 6-4 in conference play. Any road win in this conference is a big deal and Arizona has a chance at a huge one next time they take the floor, on Saturday afternoon against the Washington Huskies.