Arizona-California Preview

BY foxsports • January 22, 2016

Back to playing the kind of defense it's used to, Arizona hopes it can keep relying on Ryan Anderson and Gabe York to fill a void offensively.

California has lost its top offensive threat - just like the Wildcats - but will try to remain unbeaten at home without Tyrone Wallace.

Twelfth-ranked Arizona will try give Sean Miller his 300th career victory by extending its streak to four Saturday night at Haas Pavilion.

Arizona (16-3, 4-2) faced a crossroads earlier this month after allowing an uncharacteristic 85.5 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting over a four-game stretch that included losses at UCLA and USC.

The Wildcats have since returned to a form that led to a top-three defense and Pac-12 titles in each of the past two seasons. They've given up 63.3 points and 38.5 percent shooting in three straight wins after holding Stanford to 30.6 percent in Thursday's 71-57 road win.

''I thought our defense was really the constant from start to finish,'' Miller said after his 299th career win dating to his time with Xavier. ''It might have been our best overall defensive performance.''

Miller's club, which has a chance to move within a half game of conference-leading Washington, will try to continue that effort as it goes after a fifth straight victory over the short-handed Bears.

Cal (13-6, 3-3) suffered a big loss earlier this week when Wallace suffered a broken right hand in practice. The senior guard, averaging a team-high 15.4 points, is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Arizona similarly lost Allonzo Trier to broken hand in a 103-101 four-overtime loss at USC on Jan. 9. The freshman guard, who had been averaging 19.3 points in Pac-12 action, is likely to miss six weeks.

York finished with 19 points and four 3-pointers Thursday and Anderson scored 18 on 7-of-7 shooting to go along with eight rebounds.

Anderson has averaged 18 points on 20-of-24 (83.3 percent) shooting since Trier went down, while York has scored 17.6 per game and made 17 of 32 (53.1 percent) from beyond the arc in his five away from home.

Cal's Sam Singer filled in nicely for Wallace on Thursday with six points and eight assists as the Bears shot 54.5 percent in a 75-70 home win over Arizona State that followed a winless three-game road stretch.

''I've been a point guard my whole life so when Tyrone went out, it was nothing new to me,'' Singer said. ''I felt great and confident.''

Ivan Rabb led the way with a season-high 20 points, eight rebounds and a season-high six assists, and fellow freshman Jaylen Brown scored 17.

The Bears now hope to extend their 13-game run in Berkeley dating to last season.

Cal has played as well as anybody defensively, leading the conference with 66.2 points allowed per game and a 37.8 defensive field-goal percentage. It'll be tested by an Arizona team that ranks first with a 49.2 field-goal percentage and third with 82.4 points per game.

"They're obviously a really good team, very talented," coach Cuonzo Martin said. "We are ready to rumble."

Arizona, which has won on three of its past four visits to Berkeley, held Cal to 53.7 points per game in winning all three meetings last season.

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