Kerr Kriisa says no need to panic after Arizona's upset at the hands of Washington State
Washington State earned its first road win over a top-five opponent in program history on Saturday when it upended Arizona at McKale Center, 74-61.
The result snapped Arizona’s 28-game home winning streak as the Wildcats shot 32% from the field and 16% from the 3-point line in their own building. Arizona had its worst first-half performance (27 points) in two seasons under coach Tommy Lloyd, and fell into what was at one point an 18-point hole in the second half.
It was a third consecutive poor showing on offense for the Wildcats, who opened the season with the best offensive efficiency in basketball. The UA has now shot under 40% from the field in each of its last three games.
After the game, Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa cautioned against overreacting.
“I wouldn’t panic,” Kriisa said. “I think everybody is in the clouds right now from last year, that that’s how it should be. Of course, our standards are high. We’re trying to win every game. (Saturday) was like that. We’re going to take full responsibility for the shooting percentages. We missed 11 free throws at home, that’s a lot of free throws. That’s 100% on the players.”
Kriisa was blunt in his assessment of what happened.
“I think we dug ourselves a big hole again and couldn’t get out of it,” he said. “We’ve gotta give a lot of credit to Washington State. They played hard, made shot, and at the end of the day whoever plays hard and makes more shots wins the basketball game. That’s what they did, better than us.”
The defeat was only Arizona’s second on the season. The Wildcats are still 14-2 and inside the AP Top 10.
Few expected the Wildcats to rip through the league to 18 conference wins again like last season, but matching last year’s conference loss total after five games no doubt came as a bit of a shock.
KenPom still projects the ‘Cats to win 25 games, and would favor Arizona in every remaining game but the two against UCLA.
It projects a 14-point win over Oregon State on Thursday.
Tip-off in Corvallis is set for 8 p.m. PT on ESPN2.