Slow start dooms ‘Cats in loss to Gonzaga
Arizona was outclassed right from the opening tip falling behind 14-0
and never fully recovering in a 71-60 loss to Gonzaga at Key Arena in
For 10 minutes it seemed as if the Wildcats were just going through the
motions until Jordin Mayes stepped up and added a spark. That spark
was not enough early on as they didn’t climb back within single digits
after the 16:10 mark in the first half (0-8) until the 3:31 mark (52-60) in
the second half.
With 3:39 to go in the first half announcer Spero Dedes said it best, “The
Wildcats just cannot get out of their own way.” That was the only way to
describe them, at least for the first 34 minutes of this game.
As the Wildcats finally gained some momentum in the second half they
scored eight straight points and were poised to finally cut the lead to
single digits and they let the shot clock expire. After :35 ticked off the
clock, it didn’t even seem like the five on the court were aware of what
was going on, no plan for execution.
On two separate occasions in the second half the young, quick defense
of the Wildcats allowed them to get what appeared to be solid defensive
stops. Then they forgot Elias Harris was on the floor and he cleaned it up
for the bucket.
Mental miscues and miscommunication of assignments allowed for
Harris (27 points 7 rebounds) to and others to collect 11 offensive
rebounds which became the difference in the game.
The obvious disadvantage they had coming into the game against
Gonzaga was going to be in the paint, but they dug their hole early with
poor defense. The defense finally ratcheted up the heat over the last six
minutes allowing only two field goals during their “run” to close the
game basically playing the Zags even (15-14) during that stretch.
This was another game where Kyle Fogg, Jesse Perry and Nick Johnson
were the team’s best players.
Fogg led the team in scoring with 14 points on an inefficient 12 field
goal attempts. He and Johnson (13 points on 9 shots) were the only
offense all night for the Wildcats. They both played quality defense as
well especially during the run where it looked like a comeback was
Say what you want about this team. They are young, inexperienced,
immature (Josiah Turner) and constantly fall behind in games. Those are
all the things that have been said ad nauseam about this team by me and
others, one thing you cannot take away from them is that they are
young, they are inexperienced and have zero quit even in games they
have no business being in. Just like today (Saturday afternoon).