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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 7 Arizona MBB defeats No. 3 UCLA 76-66, rise back on top of Pac-12 (8-1)

The+University+of+Arizona+mens+basketball+team+huddles+during+a+timeout+at+McKale+Center+on+Feb.+3.+Arizona+leads+the+University+of+California%2C+Los+Angeles+42-30+at+the+half.
Marison Bilagody

The University of Arizona men’s basketball team huddles during a timeout at McKale Center on Feb. 3. Arizona leads the University of California, Los Angeles 42-30 at the half.

In the marquee matchup of the season, the Arizona men’s basketball team defeated UCLA at home 76-66. 

After last week’s double digits defeat on the road (75-59), the Wildcats ended their five-game losing streak against the rivals.

Arizona donned the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” persona for most of the game. Carried by the defense, head coach Tommy Lloyd’s team went up 28-14 in the first half before committing four turnovers in a row that helped UCLA cut the deficit and ended the half down 42-30. Azuolas Tubelis represented very well the soul of this team, scoring 10 important points in the first 20 minutes before having a couple of indecisions that cost the Wildcats a three-point play.

RELATED: Arizona MBB falls to UCLA by 16 points after a poor shooting performance

In the second half, the game resembled peaks and valleys for Arizona. The bench outscored UCLA’s 19-7, helping Arizona keep the lead for the whole game. Lloyd rode the duo of Christian Koloko and Oumar Ballo for two different stretches, closing the game with them in the lineup. When UCLA threatened Arizona going down six, Kerr Kriisa (16 points) stood on the prowl, scoring a huge 3-pointer that helped Arizona close out the game.

Dalen Terry played a great game scoring 10 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. Bennedict Mathurin, Tubelis and Pelle Larsson also scored double-digits (11, 14 and 12). The team shot 48% from the field (24/50), 36.4% from the 3-point line (8/22) and 66.7% (20/30) from free throws. Arizona grabbed 44 rebounds and had 15 turnovers.

“That’s my role in my team to do that. We played harder, with energy and McKale is here, you know,” Terry said 

“We’re lucky to be here and play in front of these fans. We played harder. We knew what they were going to do and adjusted the defense,” Ballo said.

“We made a lot of adjustments. We changed our offensive schemes a little bit. We’re playing a super-sized lineup more and more, and that’s a great advantage for us,” Lloyd said, “I’m gonna give this community all I’ve got, and you’ll see that these players are doing the same. [Terry] is a special kid and a special player. I believe in him, and he deserves all the accolades that are coming his way.”

Arizona improves to a record of 18-2 on the season and will face USC in McKale Center on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3:00 p.m. before going to Tempe to play ASU on Monday.


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