Wildcats 66, Tigers 54: quotes, notes & numbers

Four players share a dozen blocked shots for Tigers; Arizona sweeps home-and-home series

Arizona forward Solomon Hill defends Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels during the first half at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Arizona forward Solomon Hill defends Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels during the first half at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

In Brad Brownell's View

Overall thoughts on the game: “We’re certainly disappointed with the outcome after we fought so hard to get a lead in the middle of the second half. We didn’t play well early…I don’t know if it was the moment, I don’t know if it was taking a while for our guys to adjust to the game, but when we finally got adjusted and got our legs under us, I thought we played some really good basketball for a portion.

"We also had some really poor plays. We had too many turnovers, a bunch of steals for them. Those are just some things you can’t do against a team of that level. They shot free throws well, had a bunch of offensive rebounds, extra possessions and finished on the break and in transition when they got numbers.

"I thought our guys played pretty hard. I really thought Devin Booker really competed. I thought Book was into it early when nobody else really was. I thought Milt (Jennings) got himself into the game and played well in spurts. K.J. McDaniels had a little bit of a tough time in his matchup with (Solomon) Hill. They were getting after it a little bit.

"We also had some poor offensive execution tonight. We didn’t run some things the right way. That’s disappointing to me, because we worked on a lot of things this week, I thought we’d be better in that regard. So, all in all I thank our fans for coming out, they were terrific, gave us a big lift in the middle of the game and just disappointed that we couldn’t send them out with a better result and a better ending.”

On encouragement by good stretches of play: “We just use it (run in the middle of the game) to look at what we did, to see that when we play good basketball, we can play with a lot of teams. But this is still a situation where we’ve played two high level teams and played reasonably well at times. But for whatever reason, we haven’t been able to finish.

"I don’t know if some of that is our youth, lack of experience at the guard spot, where we have too many wasted possessions. We don’t have that go-to scorer that can settle your team down and go make something happen when you need something to happen - and that’s a problem at times. Rod (Hall) had a poor game tonight, which surprised me in some ways. It wasn’t that he didn’t score much, but rather that he had the turnovers. So, tonight was a myriad of problems - but there was obviously some very good play at times, too.”

On team’s youth affecting the play down the stretch: “We certainly had to grind. Arizona does some good things. Our field goal percentage defense was outstanding. I think they’re 52 percent for the year and we held them to 35 percent shooting. They’re making 10 threes a game, shooting 42% from the three. You look at those numbers and I would’ve told you that we would’ve been in great shape.

"We wanted to limit their threes and keep them off the line, and we wanted to do our best on the boards. We didn’t do our best on the boards. There were a lot of loose balls and extra possessions that hurt us. I’m anxious to watch the film and see the result of that.”

Arizona coach Sean Miller

Overall thoughts: “It was a very good win for our team. Unless you’ve done it, you don’t realize how difficult it is to travel across the country on a couple of days’ turnaround and play in front of a crowd like Clemson had tonight against a really quality team, especially on defense. They’ll be as physical and tough to score on, I believe, as any team we’ll play all season long."

On his message to the team midway through the second half: “Just stay with it. Coming here, we didn’t think we were going to roll in and it was just going to be easy. We knew it was going to be hard. I think that was my message: This is what we’ve talked about. This is how it feels to be on the road. Let’s get back to executing, doing the things that make us a good team. Don’t let this moment become bigger because the crowd is loud or they’re on a run. Let’s get back to being who we are.

"That’s not the reason it happened, either, by the way. It wasn’t a great pep talk as much as that I wanted to make sure, in that timeout, that we didn’t lose our complete focus and not say, ‘Not tonight’, or, ‘Wow’. To see us not get caught up in that and continue to fight and really, from that point, we played some excellent basketball.”

Noteworthy

- Clemson's dozen blocked shots came from four different players. Devin Booker had five, K.J. McDaniels four, Milton Jennings two and Landy Nnoko one.

- Clemson had just six assisted baskets against the Wildcats.

- Arizona turned its 20 offensive rebounds into an 18-11 edge in second half points.

- The Wildcats had an eighth-point scoring advantage from the free throw line, despite having just three more chances.

- Arizona swept the teams' two-game home-and-home series and is now 3-0 all-time against Clemson.

- Sophomore forward Bernard Sullivan missed the game because of a mild concussion that he suffered last Sunday against South Carolina.

- Clemson will take a week off for academic exams before playing at home against Florida A&M next Saturday.

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