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Pac-12 Tournament 2012, Arizona vs. UCLA: Wildcats Start Strong, Hold Lead At Halftime

The Arizona Wildcats know they have to win the Pac-12 Tournament if they hope to make the NCAA Tournament next week. Despite being undermanned and undersized, the UA dug in defensively and built an early lead over the UCLA Bruins. At halftime, the Wildcats lead 29-23.

One word to describe the game thus far: sloppy. The two teams have combined for 19 field goals and 18 turnovers, nine each. The Bruins shot just 34.5% from the field, while Arizona converted just under 40% of their shots. Just one player has more than seven points -- Solomon Hill had a great first half with 11 -- and only four players scored in the first half for Arizona.

Kyryl Natyazhko even hit a jumper. He hasn't played in essentially two months.

Jesse Perry has seven points and Kyle Fogg has added six of his own. Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones have six points each for UCLA, and Travis Wear has five with three rebounds.

Fogg and Josh Smith both have two fouls and that will be something to monitor in the second half. No other players have more than one.

It certainly wasn't a pretty first 20 minutes, but Arizona did what they needed to in order to hold a lead at halftime. Simply put, the 'Cats win this game if they continue their defensive intensity.