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Cat Tracks: UA pulls out much-needed road win despite blowing lead

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we give you ‘Cat Tracks’, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from Arizona’s 68-64 win over Utah on February 18. Arizona 68 Utah 64.

The Good:

With the game tied at 51 with under seven minutes remaining, Arizona relied on its senior leaders (Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons and Kevin Parrom) down the stretch.

The senior trio scored the team’s final 17 points, and the Wildcats managed to pull away from the Utes late.

While the seniors combined for 37 points, UA freshman Brandon Ashley certainly deserves some credit for his activity in the paint. Ashley finished with 10 points and was efficient from both the field (4-of-5) and charity stripe (2-of-3). He also added three steals.

The Bad:

The Wildcats never trailed Sunday, but Sean Miller’s squad had plenty of opportunities to pull away in the second half yet failed to do so.

Midway through the second half, UA allowed the Utes to reel off an impressive 14-2 run. The Utes employed a 2-3 zone throughout the final 20 minutes of play, and the Wildcats happily obliged going 1-of-10 from three-point range. For the afternoon, UA went 6-of-22 (27 percent) from downtown.

In addition to poor perimeter shooting, the Wildcats struggled to body up Utah backup center Jeremy Olsen. Olsen came into the contest averaging 2.9 points per game but had no problem making himself right at home in the paint against Arizona. The redshirt freshman finished with a career-high 12 points and six rebounds.


• The Wildcats decided to go small Sunday. Senior Kevin Parrom made just his second start of the season in place of Grant Jerrett. Parrom had nine points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes of action.

• Arizona notched its seventh straight win against Utah, but trails the all-time series 28 to 25 dating back to both teams’ days in the Western Athletic Conference.

• UA has given up 39 points or more in the second half of each of its last five contests.

Coming Up Next:

The Wildcats will face Washington at the McKale Center on Wednesday, February 20. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 9:00 p.m. MST.