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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


California defeats Arizona men’s basketball 74-73

Sydney Richardson
Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) dunks the ball at Haas Pavilion. The Wildcats are up 37-35 at half time.


Down one point and with time running out, Arizona guard Gabe York drove to the lane in search of a game-winning layup.

The Wildcats senior has been a part of plenty of UA comeback wins, but this wouldn’t be one of them, as York’s layup hit off the backboard with a little too much strength and fell aimlessly to the Haas Pavilion floor.

An instant later, California fans rushed the floor in celebration of a 74-73 upset victory over the No. 12 Wildcats.

York scored 15 points to lead Arizona; four other Wildcats reached double digits but it was not enough to pick up a marquee road win in Berkeley.

Instead, Arizona fell to 4-3 in Pac-12 Conference play and 15-4 overall.

For California, junior Jordan Mathews led the way with 28 points off of six three pointers.

“You have to credit Matthews on just an incredible night,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “A lot of his shots didn’t come in the half-court offense; they came in transition where his teammates did a great job finding him. When they found him, he made us pay.”

The Golden Bears’ two star freshmen, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, scored 15 and 11 points respectively.

California led by as many as nine points in a second half controlled by the home team from the start.

Arizona’s 37-35 halftime lead quickly evaporated in the opening minutes of the second half as the Wildcats forgot to close out California shooters on defense and committed a few turnovers on the offensive side.

By the 15 minute mark, Arizona’s two-point advantaged had swung to an eight point California lead.

“The first four minutes of the second half was about as bad as we can play,” Miller said. “Cal had a lot to do with it. They were very physical. When a team is playing like that, you’ve got to screen, you’ve got to be disciplined.”

The Wildcats recovered, keeping the game within two possessions for most of the half.

York’s hot shooting and a key late steal from Kadeem Allen eventually tied the game at 73 points all with 39 seconds to go.

But Arizona could not come with a decisive stop on California’s final possession.

With 18 seconds remaining, Brown drove to the hoop and drew contact from Kaleb Tarczewski, sending Tarczewski to the bench with five fouls.

Brown made one of two freethrows to give the Golden Bears the lead.

On the last possession of the game, York took the ball up court before deciding to drive through the strong-side lane.

It appeared York had an open Allen on the perimeter, but York instead chose to hold onto the ball and attempt an off-balance layup in traffic.

“We wanted [York] to use a high-ball screen and make a good decision,” Miller said. “He’s a senior. You want him to make a hard drive and he did. He got a shot off.”

Added Miller, “They defended and we missed.”

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