After an embarrassing loss to Seattle Pacific University just five days ago, the Arizona Wildcats got back on track against the Humboldt State Lumberjacks on Tuesday night with a 60-51 victory.
UA fans had reason for concern throughout most of the first half. The team trailed 14-4 just five minutes into the game and had more turnovers than shots made until the final moments of the half.
Arizona was led by Jesse Perry, who finished the night with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Kyryl Natyazhko had one of his best games as a Wildcat, scoring five points and hauling in 12 rebounds, which is a huge improvement over his first exhibition game. Angelo Chol had a big second half, scoring five consecutive points and imposing his will with multiple blocks around the basket.
While the improvement of the post players is something to build off of, there were quite a few worrying aspects of the game as well.
Arizona committed 20 turnovers and shot 56-percent from the free throw line, going just 20-for-36. And while improvements were definitely made around the basket on the defensive end, the Lumberjacks were still able to come away with multiple uncontested layups throughout the game.
The Wildcats now have five days of practice before the regular season starts on November 7. The effort on Tuesday night was a big improvement over the loss last week, but this team still has a long way to go.
It's time to work your magic, Sean Miller. The rest of these games count.