Reserves huge in OT win

Bryan Roy

Heading into the weekend, the Wildcats’ Big Three had done the vast majority of scoring this season.

Arizona’s go-to juniors – Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise – composed 68 percent of all points so far this season, while contributions from the bench came in small doses.

But Saturday night’s 96-90 victory over Houston gave Arizona a more dynamic look offensively, thanks in large part to a few emerging role players.

Arizona’s bench scored 25 points, led by freshman Kyle Fogg’s career-best 14 points.

Until recently, Fogg had established himself as a starter throughout a long stretch of the season. For 12 straight games, Fogg showed high intelligence on the defensive end and proved himself in practices to earn quality minutes. Fogg averaged 20 minutes per game as a starter, but since has fallen down the depth chart in UA interim head coach Russ Pennell’s recent lineup shakeup.

Against USC and ASU, Fogg only played 14 and 13 minutes, respectively, and scored just two points in that span.

UA wing Zane Johnson has earned considerable playing time in Fogg’s spot over the past three games. Against ASU, Johnson recorded a career-high 30 minutes. Johnson has played 20-plus minutes in each of the last four games.

Johnson started against Houston, but only scored three points and pulled down four rebounds in 22 minutes. On the other hand, Fogg’s 22 minutes off the bench gave the Wildcats 14 points.

“”I think we did go deeper in the bench,”” Pennell said. “”We had some guys come in that wanted to show ‘I deserve some time.’ When that happens, that makes even your practices better.””

Jacobson more than just height

UA center Alex Jacobson started in his second straight game (third career start) in place of Jamelle Horne.

With Hill (6-foot-10) and Jacobson (6-foot-11), not only do the Wildcats boast a bigger front court, but Jacobson has also contributed to moving the ball around the perimeter and setting screens.

Jacobson didn’t score, but grabbed three rebounds.

Turnovers plague ‘Cats

Amid all of the positives that came out of Saturday’s win over Houston, the Wildcats did set a season-high in turnovers with 24 miscues. Wise and Hill combined for 11 turnovers themselves.

Houston scored 23 points off those turnovers.

Et cetera

UA football head coach Mike Stoops was welcomed to a standing ovation after being honored during halftime Saturday. Stoops addressed the crowd with his Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl trophy displayed at halfcourt.

“”It was an incredible season, and I couldn’t be more proud of all these guys,”” Stoops said.

UA forward Chase Budinger earned his 1,400th career point as a Wildcat. He needed nine, and ended the game with 15.