Sports

Wildcats end regular season in clash with Cardinal

Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - With a second straight Pac-12 title already in hand, the fifth-ranked Arizona Wildcats will close out their regular season on Saturday afternoon, as they play host to the Stanford Cardinal.

Sean Miller's Wildcats earned the outright Pac-12 championship with a 99-60 blasting of California on Thursday. The win improved the nation's longest homecourt winning streak to 37 games and improved Arizona to 27-3 overall and 15-2 in-conference.

Johnny Dawkins' Cardinal have had their ups and downs this season. Stanford is currently 18-11 overall, with a 9-8 league ledger, but enters the season finale having lost its last two games, with close losses to Oregon (73-70) and most recently, Arizona State (67-62).

Arizona holds a 58-29 lead in the all-time series with Stanford and has won each of the last 10 matchups with the Cardinal, including an 89-82 shooting in Palo Alto on Jan. 22.

The Cardinal faced a 14-point deficit at intermission, but battle back to tie things up at 47-47 in the second half, before relenting once again and falling by five points to the Sun Devils on Thursday. Chasson Randle and Stefan Nastic led the way with 16 points apiece in the loss. Anthony Brown finished with 13 points for Stanford, which shot a modest .400 from the floor in the game, compared to a .480 effort from ASU.

Randle is on his way to All-Pac-12 honors this season, as the veteran guard ranks second in the conference in scoring at a hefty 19.2 ppg. Brown is second on the team with 15.1 ppg and contributes in a number of ways, shooting .441 from behind the arc, while leading the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg). Randle and Brown have combined for 134 of the team's 200 3-pointers this season. Nastic (13.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg) handles things in the paint.

Arizona put on an offensive clinic in the easy win over California. The Wildcats erupted for 99 points on a sizzling .567 shooting effort. The team also held a 42-33 edge in rebounding and forced the Golden Bears into 16 turnovers, while committing just six. Six Wildcats notched double digits in the win, led by Brandon Ashley's 21 points. Kaleb Tarczewski added 14 points, followed by Stanley Johnson (12 pts), Gabe York (11 pts), Dusan Ristic (11 pts) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10 pts).

The Wildcats have the ability to win games at either end of the floor and have shown very few weaknesses this season. The team is netting 76.2 ppg on a healthy .490 shooting, while limiting foes to just 58.6 ppg on .392 efficiency. Johnson has made an immediate impact as a freshman and is headed for all-conference honors as well, pacing the team in both scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). Help along the frontline comes in the form of Ashley (11.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Hollis-Jefferson (11.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg), while T.J. McConnell (9.6 ppg) runs the point to near perfection with a conference-best 6.1 apg.