Three games, three losses for the Arizona Wildcats in Battle 4 Atlantis.
That’s a real thing that happened.
The second-ranked Wildcats were routed 89-64 by the No. 18 Purdue Boilermakers to wrap up a miserable trip to the Bahamas.
It’s the first time since February 2010 that Arizona has lost three games in a row. That was Sean Miller’s first year at the UA when the Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament.
“I wouldn’t have predicted we would come down here and finish 0-3,” Miller said. “That wasn’t the goal. But nothing’s ever as bad as it seems. And certainly we probably weren’t nearly as good as everybody thought we were before we traveled down here.”
Behind a blitzkrieg of 3s and screens, Purdue overwhelmed an Arizona defense that continued its struggles.
The Boilermakers shot 57 percent from the field and made half of their 22 3-point attempts.
Purdue sank eight 3s in the first half, allowing it to take a 50-33 lead at halftime. The Wildcats couldn’t get the deficit below double-digits, and Purdue even got to play its walk-ons at the end of the game.
Arizona’s offense was equally as unorganized as its defense.
The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field and just 3-17 from 3, unable to get much of anything going in the halfcourt, usually settling for a contested jumper or a drive through traffic.
The Wildcats tried running a lot of high screen-and-rolls, but the action often didn’t free up the driver or the screener, forcing someone — usually Allonzo Trier — to isolate on the perimeter.
Trier had his worst performance of the season, finishing with eight points on 3-10 shooting. The junior had four turnovers and just one assist, failing to find open teammates when the defense collapsed on him.
Deandre Ayton post-ups worked, but he didn’t get nearly enough touches, finishing with 22 points on 10-14 shooting before fouling out with 4:32 left.
Ayton didn’t record a double-double for the first time all season, being limited to eight rebounds.
If there was one bright spot in this game it was that Brandon Randolph showed some flashes of brilliance, sinking a couple 3s, scoring off the dribble, and even catching a lob for an alley-oop.
The freshman had been a non-factor in UA’s first five games, but finished with a career-high 17 points on 7-11 shooting against the Boilermakers.
How did the other freshmen do? Not so great.
Emmanuel Akot got moved back into the starting lineup and went scoreless in 10 minutes. Ira Lee and Alex Barcello failed to score, despite combining for 27 minutes.
Senior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright was held to five points on 1-4 shooting, but did tally seven assists to just one turnover.
Dusan Ristic fouled out after 16 minutes, finishing with just four points (1-5 FG) and three rebounds, being outplayed by Purdue 7-footers Isaac Haas and Matt Haarms.
Dylan Smith and Keanu Pinder each added four points.
Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards, and Dakota Mathias combined for 63 points on 21-33 shooting, including a 10-18 clip from beyond the arc. Purdue shot 61 percent in the second half and finished with a 37-27 edge on the boards.
The Wildcats fall to 3-3 on the season, and will return to the court Wednesday when they host Long Beach State at 6 p.m. MST.
Arizona has been ranked in the AP Poll in 100 straight weeks, but that streak is almost certainly going to end when the new rankings are released Monday.
That should be the least of the Wildcats’ worries right now, though. There is a lot of work to be done on both sides of the ball.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire