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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona drops first Pac-12 road contest to UCLA

Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

Going into Thursday’s game, Arizona head coach Sean Miller knew it would be tough for the undersized Wildcats to deal with UCLA’s front court, which features a rotation of four 6-foot-10 forwards.

He was right.

The Bruins were without 6-foot-10, 300-pounder Josh Smith after he suffered a concussion in Wednesday’s practice, but that didn’t matter. Sophomore twin forwards Travis Wear and David Wear combined to score 34 points on 13-of-16 shooting, and UCLA took down Arizona, 65-58, Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif.

Arizona (10-6, 1-1 Pac-12) went four-plus minutes without a basket midway through the first half and missed eight straight shots — a stretch that saw UCLA (9-7, 1-2) build a 21-12 lead. Freshman point guard Josiah Turner replaced Jordin Mayes in the starting lineup and scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists to go along with three turnovers.

The Wildcats got the Bruin lead down to five points a number of times in the second half, but couldn’t get over the hump until Solomon Hill hit a layup and drew a foul to make it a three-point game with 3:28 to play. Hill went on to miss the free throw and Arizona wouldn’t get within five points again.

Hill led the Wildcats with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but turned the ball over six times. Senior forward Jesse Perry added 13 points and three rebounds.

Freshman guard Nick Johnson had his worst performance of the season, scoring two points on 1-of-5 shooting. The loss was Arizona’s 11th in its last 13 trips to the Southern California schools.

Arizona couldn’t find any consistent threat on offense and shot just 37 percent from the field and 18 percent from 3-point range. UCLA shot 44 percent from the field and hit just one 3. Each team grabbed 32 rebounds apiece, and Arizona held a 10-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

The Wildcats continue their season with a contest at USC on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

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