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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

3-point shooting lifts ‘Cats

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Colin Darland

It took three runs by three different players, but the combination of Kyle Fogg, Josiah Turner and Solomon Hill was enough to lead the Arizona men’s basketball team to victory on Thursday night.

The Wildcats defeated the Washington State Cougars 85-61 in McKale Center, a welcome sight after a one-point loss to Colorado last Saturday.

The scoring-by-committee approach was one that worked well for Arizona. In the first half, it was all Fogg for Arizona. The senior had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. But Fogg had just two points in the second half.

“Tonight Fogg was going and we got Kyle the ball,” Hill said. “We just have to understand what guys to go to. It would be good if every guy could score 10 points in one night, but it’s not always going to be like that. Everybody has to understand the hot hand.”

Head coach Sean Miller called Fogg’s performance in the first half that of a leader.

“The fact that he had (18 points) in one half really shows you how ready he was,” Miller said. “He’s not turning the ball over, and when he doesn’t turn it over, makes shot, plays his usual defense, he’s one of the better players in our conference.”

After Fogg’s streak ended, Turner was thrown into the mix before being ejected at the 10:06 mark of the second half for picking up two separate fouls in the span of 66 seconds. First, he shoved the Cougars’ Brock Motum. The second came when Washington State came out of a timeout. Despite his ejection, the freshman was the spark coming out of halftime, scoring Arizona’s first six points and then assisting on Jesse Perry’s dunk to give the Wildcats an 18-point lead just two minutes into the second period. Turner finished the game with nine points and four assists in 20 minutes.

The ejection was Arizona’s third in three weeks. Kyryl Natyazhko was ejected against Oregon State on Jan. 12, and Hill was ejected last week against Utah.

Once Turner was sent to the locker room, Hill took over Arizona’s offensive run and scored Arizona’s next 12 points. Although cold in the first half, Hill finished the game with a double double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Brendon Lavender also added 14 points in 12 minutes.

The Wildcats had significant improvements in ball control against WSU, matching their nine turnovers with nine steals. Miller called the game the Wildcats’ best start-to-finish outing of the season.

“We moved the ball about as well as we have all season tonight,” Miller said.

Arizona also bounced back from a 3-for-20 3-point shooting percentage against Colorado with a 15-for-26 effort on Thursday. The Wildcats seemed much more comfortable taking the 3-pointer and finished the game with a higher clip from beyond the arc than they had at the free throw line.

“We’ve had those nights where the ball hasn’t gone in,” Miller said. “We’re much better than 3-for-20 and it was good to see guys shoot the ball with lots of confidence.

“We had a lot of the same shots we had against Colorado,” he continued.”They went in this time.”

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