The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

86° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 17 Arizona defeats UCLA 81-75

Jesus Barrera

Arizona point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (0) jumps to dunk the ball against UCLA on Feb 12 in McKale Center. The Wildcats rallied back in the second half to defeat the Bruins 81-75.

Arizona can’t get enough of that Hollywood drama whenever the Wildcats play the Bruins.

Unlike the prequel in Westwood, in which the UA lost in heartbreaking fashion, this sequel had a happy ending for the Wildcats.

After trailing by 10 at half, the Wildcats defeated UCLA 81-75, avenging the 87-84 defeat the Wildcats suffered in January. Allonzo Trier led Arizona in scoring with 18 points in his return to the starting lineup and Parker Jackson-Cartwright added 16, as former Wildcats T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson sat in attendance.

“I challenged our seniors at half. ‘What’s your legacy going to be? How are you going to be remembered?’” head coach Sean Miller said. “When I think about Kaleb [Tarczewski] and the way he rebounded and defended in the second half. Gabe York was phenomenal on defense in the second half.”

Arizona’s scorers came to life in the second half after shooting a weak 30 percent from the field in the first half.

The Wildcats shot 51 percent in the second half while getting clutch performances from the seniors late in the game. York had 15 points and Tarczewski added 14 rebounds, including four offensive boards. The Wildcats outrebounded the Bruins 42-34.

“I think we made them go small. Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh are great basketball players, and myself, Ryan [Anderson] and Dusan [Ristic] knew we needed to do a great job on the glass,” Tarczewski said. “I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

After chipping away at a UCLA lead, Arizona shortly regained an advantage after Anderson stole the ball and scored on a layup with 7:30 remaining. Back and forth the scoring went from there. Arizona gained its largest lead of the game at 78-70 after York converted a three-point play after being fouled by Bryce Alford with just under a minute to play.

York only had two assists, but both came as alley-oops at critical times for the Wildcats. The first was to Trier, trimming Arizona’s deficit to four with 13:50 remaining in the game. The second was to Zeus which gave Arizona the lead for good at 71-70 with 3:10 to go.

The first half, however, was nothing but struggles for the redemption-seeking Wildcats.

After starting the game off trading buckets, the Bruins began to take over with around eight minutes left in the half, after going on a 10-2 run and taking a 29-19 lead. The Bruins held a double-digit lead for most of the half and led 44-34 at halftime.

“It was a tale of two halves tonight in terms of the game. Our defense wasn’t very good in the first half,” Miller said. “It’s like I said after the first game, it’s a reflection of how good UCLA is on offense but especially how tough they are to guard. Isaac Hamilton is a great offensive player.”

Hamilton scored 24 points for UCLA. Bryce Alford, who made the buzzer-beating 3 against Arizona over a month ago, had 17 points for a Bruin team that shot 46 percent from the field.

Jackson-Cartwright scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half, providing the only spark offensive for Arizona. The Wildcats struggled at the free throw line, shooting 64 percent for the game. ULCA out-fouled Arizona 31-19 and saw Welsh and Parker foul out within 40 seconds of each other with around six minutes to play in the second half.

“It changed the game. Kaleb and Ryan are very good and they rebound and they’re physical. Our guards did a nice job of driving and that was part of what we wanted to do, especially with Tony Parker,” Miller said. “When he’s in the game he’s so hard to deal with. He’s so physical and when he’s in foul trouble, I think it changes the complexion of UCLA’s front court.”

Arizona will host the USC Trojans on Sunday at 6 p.m.

More to Discover
Activate Search