Arizona Wildcats Finish February with Six Victories


The No. 7 Arizona Wildcats started off the month of February with a speed bump, but went on to win their final six games of the month in convincing fashion.

The first five victories of the month were all Arizona as they won each contest by double-digits. More impressively, they won four road games while only losing one game away from the McKale Center.

More from Heat Waved

The one loss in the month was to rival Arizona State, on the road, in the first game of the month with a final score of 81-78. The Wildcats attempted 19 more shot attempts than the Sun Devils and made six more shots than their arch-nemesis. The Sun Devils had one of their most successful days from the charity stripe on the season however to even out the field goal attempts as they went 22-28 from the free throw line.

After playing in Tempe the Wildcats headed to rainy Washington to take on the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars. Arizona put up 86 points in each of the two road contests while allowing just 62 and 59 points respectively.

Stanley Johnson put up a 20-point performance against Washington to lead the charge. Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson carried the torch against Washington State with 17 points a piece as they completely dominated their competition.

Arizona improved to 24-3 after a pair of home victories against USC and UCLA. The USC game, in which Jason Terry had his jersey retired, was close from the get-go with the Trojans keeping the game close with Arizona leading just 21-18 halfway through the first half, but the Wildcats would begin to turn it on quickly thereafter however. The Wildcats used a 28-13 run in the final 10 minutes of the first half to push the lead to 49-31 and they would hold on to their double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest and came away victorious 87-57.

Feb 19, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; The retired jersey of former Arizona Wildcats basketball player Jason Terry is unveiled during halftime at McKale Center. Arizona won 87-57. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA game was a lot closer however with Arizona struggling from the field mightily. Arizona shot 34% from the field (18-53), but picked up the slack at the free throw line as they knocked down 18 of 25 attempts. The bench unit headed by Dusan Ristic and Gabe York put up 25 points en route to a 57-47 Wildcat victory.

The final series of the month took the Wildcats to Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the Colorado Buffaloes and No. 13 Utah Utes. Arizona defeated the Buffaloes easily with a blow-out 82-54 victory. The latter of the two contests was not as easy for the Wildcats however.

Arizona once more struggled from the field against Utah as they finished 17-51 (33.3%) and were just 2-12 from distance (16.7%). Once more, the free throw line was good for the Wildcats as they knocked down 27 of 37 attempts. Utah even held a 47-41 lead with just 8:21 left in the game, but Arizona used a 22-10 run to close out the game.

The big run at the end was sparked by Hollis-Jefferson, who scored all 10 of his points in the final eight minutes, to help Arizona come away with a 63-57 win. The win helped Arizona improve to 26-3 overall on the season and 14-2 in PAC-12 play.

Arizona has just two games left on their regular season dock with home games against the California Golden Bears on March 5 and the Stanford Cardinal on March 7. The Wildcats will be the number one seed in the PAC-12 tournament which will be held from March 11-14 in Las Vegas. Arizona’s “March Madness” seed will depend on how well they can close out the regular season and tournament, but they will likely be either a one-seed or two-seed in the West region.