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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Daily Wildcat’s team and player of the week: Jan. 28, 2024

Caitlin Claypool

Players on the Arizona men’s tennis team hype each other up before their match on April 3 at the Robson Tennis Center. The competition ended in Arizona’s first victory over the University of California Berkley since 2004.

This past week, Caleb Love put on a career-high performance with a 36-point game against the University of Oregon, propelling Arizona to victory, alongside the historic triumph of the No. 13 men’s tennis team when they broke a 13-year cycle against No. 24 Baylor University, securing their spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Indoor Championship for the first time in Wildcat history.

Player of the Week

Caleb Love – Guard, men’s basketball

Love scored a career-high 36 points against Oregon on Saturday, Jan. 27. Despite the tough loss against Oregon State University on Thursday, Jan. 25, the Wildcats rallied and left the week with a triumphant victory of 87-78 in Matthew Knight Arena. Arizona’s victory in Eugene, Oregon marks its first win since 2015 in the city.

The initial points of the game came from Love, who sank a 3-pointer within the opening minute. Continuing this momentum throughout the first half, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill transfer showcased his prowess by accumulating a total of 20 points.

Of his total 36 points, 15 points came from the five 3-point shots he made throughout the game. Love exhibited exceptional shooting accuracy, converting 12 of 18 attempts from the field, in addition to an impressive seven of eight from the free-throw line. Alongside his scoring prowess, Love contributed three rebounds and facilitated two assists, further solidifying his impactful performance on the court.

Love’s last career high was 34 points while at UNC in a game against University of Alabama in 2022. While at North Carolina, Love was a key contributor and starter and helped lead their team to a Final Four position in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.

This game against the Ducks also marks his 11th game with a minimum of 20 points while wearing an Arizona uniform, and his 10th in the last 13 games.

Arizona arrived as the second-ranked scoring offense nationally, averaging 89.4 points per game. Within their offensive arsenal, Love notably contributed an average of 18.4 points per game, with a notable uptick to 24 points per game in conference road matchups.

Team of the Week

Men’s tennis

The No. 13 Arizona men’s tennis team broke a 13-year cycle against No. 24 Baylor this past weekend and are headed to the ITA National Indoor Championship for the first time in Arizona men’s tennis history. The impressive 4-2 victory happened during the ITA Kickoff Weekend hosted by Arizona at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. This was the first time Arizona hosted the Kickoff and won.

The Wildcats dominated most matches but fell short in one. Seniors Herman Hoeyeraal and Gustaf Strom clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 victory, followed by junior Colton Smith, and sophomore Jay Friend’s 6-4 win.

No. 34, Friend secured two straight-set victories in singles, boosting Arizona’s lead. However, Baylor equalized 2-2 as Hoeyeraal and Strom lost in the third set. Smith’s impressive win over Baylor’s No. 32 Tadeas Paroulek, gave Arizona a 3-2 lead. Nick Lagaev sealed the victory for Arizona by defeating Luc Koenig 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

The men’s team hopes to continue this momentum into California this weekend as it faces the University of San Diego on Friday, Feb. 2, at noon, and Pepperdine University on Sunday, Feb. 4, at noon.

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