Huskies Insider Blog

Noon hoops: Arizona loses to SDSU, UCLA loses ... again, Stanford heads to NIT finals

The Arizona Wildcats had their 22-game home winning streak  snapped last night at the hands of San Diego State (apparently the loss to SPU was an exhibition game and doesn't count)

Anyway, a SDSU team that lost almost every key contributor from last year, went into Tucson and controlledthe tempo and the pace of the game and came away with a 61-57 win.  It was SDSU's seventh straight win over a Pac-12 school.

From Bruce Pascoe's game story ...

Arizona trailed 16-2 and 21-4 early and, despite pulling within two points at halftime, never fully caught up. They have not led a game at any point since beating St. John's on Nov. 17 in New York.

The loss dropped Arizona to 4-2 and possibly out of the Top 25 polls for the first time since the middle of last season. San Diego State improved to 6-1.

Arizona shot just 33 percent from the field while San Diego State hit 45 percent overall and made 8 of 12 three-pointers. The Aztecs were led by Chase Tapley, who had 17 points, while Solomon Hill had 14 for Arizona but made only 4 of 12 field goals and was 1 of 6 from three-point range.In this blog post, Pascoe writes that it doesn't appear that Sidiki Johnson will be back with the team after being suspended for violations of team policy.

Arizona Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen writes about the blueprint to beating Arizona.

In the San Diego State coach's evaluation of the Wildcats, he surely discovered these halftime scores from earlier games at McKale:

• Arizona 32, Valpo 30.

• Duquesne 30, Arizona 28.

• Ball State 38, Arizona 29.

So when San Diego State blazed to a 21-4 lead Wednesday night, which was enough equity to beat the Wildcats 61-57, Fisher was the last man in the building who would say "I'm shocked."

His team whooped and hollered so loudly you could hear them in the corridor outside the locker room, but this wasn't an upset.

Even though the Wildcats rallied to beat the first three mid-majors on the schedule, and even though the Aztecs are unranked and unlikely to get within 10 victories of last year's historic 34-3 record, there was no awe.If you look at the four factors and the huge discrepancy in the eFG% which is due to Arizona shooting 5 of 25 from 3-point range and SDSU burying 8 of 12 from behind the arc. I watched about half of this game.  Standout freshman Josiah Turner looked much better than he has in past games, but he still dominates the ball a little too much at times.

Down in paradise, UCLA lost yet again, falling to 79-63 to Michigan.  Meaning the Bruins only win this season is over Division II Chaminade.

From Ben Bolch's game story ...

The Bruins certainly are behind schedule after a 79-63 loss to No. 15 Michigan on Wednesday at the Lahaina Civic Center left a team that started the season nationally ranked off to its worst start in 24 years.

"We came out here and our goal was to win the whole thing," said UCLA sophomore center Joshua Smith, a towel wrapped around his head and his eyes red and swollen. "That didn't happen."

The Bruins (1-4) took fourth place courtesy of an opening-round victory over Chaminade, a Division II team that couldn't hold an early six-point lead.

After UCLA won the Maui Invitational five years ago, the Bruins had two days to frolic in the Pacific Ocean before returning to Westwood. Now they'll have one day in paradise to contemplate a season on the verge of disaster.

"It's really obvious that we have a long way to go to be able to compete against the teams on our schedule that are left," Howland said. "It's going to be a hard fight."Look that eFG% for Michigan and the offensive rebound percentage. That pretty much sums up UCLA issues in most of the losses. Here's the 10-second synopsis: "They don't defend. They are inept offensively. They play with no passion."

Enough with the losing, let's talk about a win.... Stanford beat Oklahoma State, 82-67, to move into the NIT Finals against No. 5 Syracuse. The Cardinal looks like they could be a handful this season. They have some size and athleticism in Josh Owens and Josh Huestis.

Oregon picked up an 83-76 win in Nebraska. The Cornhuskers aren't a powerhouse, but that's a good road win for the Ducks. And they did it without Jabari Brown.