The Arizona Wildcats advanced in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament thanks to some stellar defense, execution down the stretch, and strong free throw shooting in the closing moments. The game against the UCLA Bruins certainly wasn't pretty to watch -- and there was some very questionable officiating for both sides in the second half -- but the UA battled through it and came away with the 66-58 victory.
Solomon Hill had a monster game and carried his team throughout. The junior forward went off for 25 points and did so on just nine attempts from the field, and made 12 of his 14 shots from the free throw line. Hill brought down 12 rebounds and recorded three steals, although he did commit five turnovers. Jesse Perry had a big game as well while primarily guarding Travis and David Wear, and ended with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Kyle Fogg was heavily guarded throughout most of the game and saw only a few clean looks at the basket, but managed to end with 13 points of his own. Nick Johnson continued to struggle offensively, but the 6'2'' freshman recorded four blocks, two of which came down the stretch. Senior sharp-shooter Brendon Lavender found himself open more times than not, but simply could not knock any of his shots down, going 1-for-6 from the field for two points.
The Wildcats continually attacked the rim in the second half and fouled out Josh Smith with nearly 10 minutes to go. Between the two Wear brothers, Travis fouled out with three minutes left and David was limited all game while sitting on the bench.
In a game that had many -- myself included -- worried about UCLA's size advantage in the paint, the UA won the rebounding battle by a total of 37-28.
Next up for Arizona: the Oregon St. Beavers, who won a thriller over top-seed Washington. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST.