Arizona lost an exhibition game for the first time since 1984 on Thursday night, falling to Seattle Pacific University by a score of 69-68. The Wildcats trailed by double digits throughout most of the game and mounted a late rally that would eventually fall short.
The ultimate downfall for 'Zona came in the paint. Kyryl Natyazhko and Sidiki Johnson combined for two rebounds in forty minutes of play. SPU could not be stopped around the basket and came away with multiple uncontested layups in the final minutes of the contest.
UA committed 12 turnovers, missed countless layups, and shot just 66.6-percent from the free throw line. And while the ratio seems better now than it was throughout the game, this team needs to shoot better than 6-for-17 from behind the arc if they hope to make a run in conference play and the NCAA tournament.
Technically, this game does not mean a thing in the grand scheme of things. The loss to a Division-II opponent will hurt for a few days, but no one will remember this in a week or so outside of Tucson. Seattle Pacific is a very good team and they will compete for a national championship this season.
The loss still stings, though.
Sean Miller was visibly frustrated in his post-game press conference and went as far to say this was not a very good team right now. This may be true, but one must remember Arizona has had just 11 days of practice thus far. Be upset with the loss, but do not go jumping off any bridges.
The Wildcats will be fine.