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Brown battles thru family tragedy to push UA to a road sweep

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TUCSON (KVOA) - It was not the homecoming that Terrell Brown Jr. had hoped for when he signed up to play his final collegiate season with the Arizona Wildcats. 

The Seattle-native anticipated having family and friends in the stands at Alaska Airlines Arena when UA made its yearly trek to the Great Northwest. 

Brown’s one season as a Pac-12 player was to be the crowning achievement on a basketball career that began with a pair of state championship at Garfield High School and continued at the next level at Shoreline CC and Seattle University. 

There were no family and friends to celebrate with in Seattle last week due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and the trip took a somber turn when Brown found out prior to the Wildcats meeting with Huskies on New Year’s Eve that his paternal grandfather Charles Brown had passed away after a long illness. 

Terrell Brown Jr. has turned the ball over just five times in UA's first ten games (Photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)

The senior however did not let that stop him. He remained with the Wildcats and combined to score 25 points in UA’s sweep of the Washington schools. 

His bank-shot three-pointer in double overtime against the Cougars proved to be the game-winner in an 86-82 Arizona victory. 

Brown has been the steady veteran influence that head coach Sean Miller was hoping for on his relatively young 2020-21 squad. 

His two turnovers against the Cougars broke a seven-game string without a turnover, a stretch in which he dished out 21 assists.  

Brown has 33 assists on the season to just five turnovers. 

UA freshman forward Ben Mathurin averaged 19 points and nine rebounds in the Wildcats' road sweep in Washington (Photo courtesy: Pac-12 Network)

FRESH FROSH

UA freshman forward Bennedict Mathurin is the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

After going scoreless in the Wildcats home win over Colorado, the Montreal Canada-native averaged 19 points and nine rebounds in UA's sweep of the Washington schools, including 24 points in the double-overtime win over the Cougars.

Mathurin is UA's conference-leading sixth Freshman of the Week recipient since the award was established at the start of the 2019-20 season.

He's averaging 11 points and five rebounds coming off the bench in Arizona's first ten games.

UNAPPRECIATED

UA did not get the Top 25 ranking many thought was coming after a third straight Pac-12 Conference win and a road sweep.

Arizona did receive votes this week, enough to finish with 25 points, sixth most below the cut line.

GAME TIME

The beginning of Pac-12 play has brought a bit of normalcy back to Arizona's schedule. The Wildcats are playing the traditional two conference games per week and their start times are back to the early evenings.

Due to the Pandemic and most venues not hosting fans, games were tipping off at 5 p.m. during the non-conference, about two hours earlier than normal.

Both games this week at McKale Center against the L.A. schools will tipoff at 7 p.m. and be televised on the ESPN Family of Networks. Thursday's game against USC is on ESPN2 while Saturday's contest with UCLA will be broadcast on ESPN.

Copyright 2021 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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