The Arizona Wildcats are no longer unbeaten, losing at Tennessee on Wednesday night. The UA trailed by 15 in the first half but rallied to twice it twice in the second half.
Our full recap can be found here. Below is what Coach Tommy Lloyd and sophomore wing Bennedict Mathurin, who had 28 of Arizona’s 73 points, said afterward.
Lloyd on falling behind: “We came out really tentative against a really good, aggressive team and they put us on our heels. You can’t do that on the road. I was obviously really proud of our response, but you just can’t dig that deep of a hole against a team like that.”
Mathurin on the slow start: “The main problem was coming to the game not ready, that’s one of the biggest problems. We were pretty confident coming into the game. It’s just about adjusting to the plays, do what will be best for the team, and just stick to the plan.”
Lloyd on what Tennessee did to force so many early turnovers: “It’s just the things you tell the guys, if you drive it into those seams they’re going to reach and poke with the ball. The passes you think you have at practice aren’t going to be there so you’re going to have to take an extra stuff. And it’s hard to simulate what they do in practice. Once we settled down we got a lot better, I just wish it would have taken so long.”
Lloyd on how Arizona managed to come back: “I was proud of our defense, because we could have been down 20-plus in the first half.”
Mathurin on playing better in the second half: “I’d say the biggest adjustment we made was taking care of the ball.”
Lloyd on suffering the first loss: “It’s an experience and we’re gonna really learn from it.”
Lloyd on Kerr Kriisa: “He played with force in the second half. The first half he was really tentative. He’s gotta get experience playing against aggressive athletes like that. We probably gotta help him with a little bit of a plan that’s a little bit better, but obviously in the second half he got us going.”
Lloyd on the officiating, and if it impacted the game: “The team that complains to the refs first and complains the most usually loses. So, I don’t like losing, so let’s quit complaining to the refs.”
Mathurin on the environment in Knoxville: “It was a hard game. They had good fans, the environment was pretty tough. That was just the main thing, staying together and playing as a team.”