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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats suffer first loss of season at hands of Providence 69-65

Rebecca Noble

Arizona forward Ryan Anderson (12) eyes a shot over Bradley defense during Arizona’s 90-60 victory over Bradley at McKale Center on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015.

FULLERTON, CALIF: Arizona had struggled early in the season with sloppy play and sluggish defense. On Friday night, those foibles finally led to the Wildcats’ first loss.

Behind 19 points from star point guard Kris Dunn, Providence knocked off No. 11 Arizona 69-65 on the second night of the Wooden Legacy. The Wildcats will face a rematch with Boise State in the third place game at 1:30 pm (PT) Sunday.

With the game tied in the final minute, Dunn took the ball up court for the Friars. As the end of the shot clock neared, Dunn hit a fade-away jumper to put Providence up.

Arizona’s Parker Jackson-Cartwright turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, leading to a game-sealing dunk from Dunn.

Jackson-Cartwright’s miscue was one of 21 UA turnovers on the night. The turnovers canceled out an otherwise steady performance from the Wildcats, who shot 47 percent from the field and outrebounded Providence 43-22.

However, Arizona didn’t have a stop for Providence’s Dunn. The preseason All-American kept the Friars afloat down the stretch, scoring all of the team’s final eight points.

All together, Providence shot 50 percent from the field. Forward Ben Bentil led the team in scoring with 21 points.

“We’ve learned a lot over the last two days as a basketball team,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “That room for error that we’ve experienced the last couple years isn’t there right now.”

Ryan Anderson led Arizona with a 27 point, 12 rebound performance. Anderson repeatedly scored the ball inside, unafraid to bang with Providence’s big men.

The Wildcats didn’t have their usual post size, as center Kaleb Tarczewski missed the game with a left ankle injury that he suffered late in the Santa Clara win on Thursday.

“Of course we missed him,” Miller said. “Every coach wants his full deck. We would have loved to have had him here tonight.”

Miller said after the game that he didn’t know the extent of Tarczewski’s injury or whether he would play Sunday.

Dusan Ristic, celebrating his 20th birthday, earned the start at center in Tarczewski’s place. Ristic finished the night with six points and five rebounds.

Once again, Arizona struggled to hit from outside as the team went a collective 3-14 from behind the arc. Gabe York made two of the team’s 3s; Anderson hit the other.

Arizona now has a day to prepare for its rematch against Boise State. The UA defeated the Broncos 88-76 at McKale Center last week.

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