The Arizona Wildcats are the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament. So, it would stand to reason that they are the favorite to take home the title.
They’re one step closer to that goal.
The ‘Cats led California for most of the game and pulled away in the second half, winning by a score of 73-51.
Arizona, ranked fifth in the nation, will face off with fourth-seeded UCLA Friday evening at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
But before we get to that game, let’s take a look at the Wildcats’ victory over Cal, by the numbers:
California actually outrebounded Arizona by a 37-36 margin.
There were two technical fouls called in the game, one each for UA’s Brandon Ashley and Cal’s David Kravish, after the two got into a small scuffle with 2:41 left in the contest.
Four Wildcats — Stanley Johnson, Brandon Ashley, T.J. McConnell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — scored in double figures. Just two Bears — Tyrone Wallace and Jabari Bird — did the same.
Arizona led Cal by just six points at halftime. In their previous two meetings this season, the ‘Cats carried leads of 10 and 21 points into the intermission.
6 part II
McConnell, Arizona’s point guard, dished out six assists. California, as a team, finished with nine.
No Wildcat pulled down more than seven rebounds, though three of them — Kaleb Tarczewski, Johnson and Ashley — hit that mark.
The Wildcats got 12 points from their bench, with Gabe York’s eight leading the way.
Freshman Stanley Johnson led the Wildcats with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He tied with Cal’s Tyrone Wallace for the game high, and in the process tallied his highest scoring total since notching 20 against Washington on Feb. 13.
Arizona’s suffocating defense held California to just 34.4 percent shooting, as they made 21 of their 61 attempts. UA’s free throw defense wasn’t bad, either, as the Bears missed three of their eight foul shots.
The Wildcats are not exactly known for being a good free throw shooting team, but Thursday they made 15 of their 17 attempts, or 88.2 percent. Ashley was a perfect 7-of-7 to pace the team.