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What Arizona assistant Jack Murphy said after the win at Cal

Northern Arizona v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats won their third straight road game Thursday, pulling away from the California Golden Bears for a 68-52 win to improve to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-12.

Our recap can be found here.

Associate head coach Jack Murphy filled in for head coach Sean Miller on the postgame radio show. Here is what he had to say:

On it being good to see Arizona shoot 48 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3: “Yeah, it was. Coach (Miller) put in a couple of shooting group workouts this week, a little extra stuff for the perimeter guys including Stone Gettings and Dylan (Smith), and Dylan on both days, Monday and Tuesday, and obviously it paid off dividends. You’re so happy to see the guys put in the hard work and then see it pay off in games. And Dylan, by his own admission, has struggled lately. I think after he missed his first one he was like 0 for his last 20, so he was certainly due and did a great job and we’re really proud of him, and glad that he was able to deliver when when we needed it most.”

On Arizona’s 12-0 run after Cal cut it to 33-32: “We got good stops on defense, were able to get out transition, took good shots during that time. Zeke Nnaji down low was a load. We went to him a couple times in a row when he finished. He had just missed like an under-the-basket layup to go to 2 for 7 from the field, and he ends 8 of 13 from the field. It just shows from that point forward, not only was it Dylan’s perimeter shooting, but it was Zeke down low, really producing and taking advantage when he had opportunities.”

On holding Cal leading scorer Matt Bradley to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting: “We went into the game thinking that this was a lot like Washington State, C.J. Elleby. And then obviously Paris Austin, (Cal’s) point guard is also a really good player and has been averaging 13 per game in Pac-12 play, so you almost equate him to Isaac Bonton from Washington State. And we did a really good job...when it mattered most on Bradley. Bradley’s a really good player. He hit a couple tough shots there even at the end of the game when we were up 20 or 18, and you’re just like, ‘wow.’ He’s a very, very good player. We’re lucky it wasn’t a one- or two-point game at that point.”

On the importance of only committing 10 turnovers: “Yeah, so we’re top-20 in the country in turnover percentage. We have not this season, knock on wood, turned the ball over at a high rate. We’ve been one of the best teams in the country and that’s helped keep us in games when we haven’t been shooting well, or helped keep us in games when we haven’t rebounded as well. Like, we lost the rebounding battle tonight, which is disappointing, but taking care of the basketball, being able to get shots, good shots when you have offense, it helps set your defense, it helps just the rhythm of your team. There was a couple times in the first half tonight where we did turn the ball over transition and it’s a deflating effect. You look at the other side, Cal has 15 turnovers, that’s a big difference in the game, that +5 that we have in the turnover margin.”

On Arizona’s shot selection: “We weren’t perfect. We missed a couple in the first half where we had the extra pass... but second half, I thought that we really locked in and got good ones. And even the ones that we missed in the second half, mentioned Zeke’s reverse layup earlier, it’s right at the rim. Josh Green had a great drive and missed a layup late where I think Zeke got the offensive rebound putback. So we had good looks. Nico missed a corner 3 that was absolutely wide open. I thought tonight, I’d probably give us a high B+, A- in the shot selection chart, coming off a game where the scholars wouldn’t have been too happy with our shot selection against UCLA.”