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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 12 Arizona men’s basketball defeats ASU 99-61

Tyler Baker
Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) blocks a shot against Arizona State on Feb 17 in McKale Center. The Wildcats are up 38-24 at the half.

Wilbur 2. Sparky 0.

The Arizona Wildcats made quick work of in-state rival ASU as they defeated the Sun Devils 99-61 in McKale Center, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2013.

Allonzo Trier led the game in scoring with 20 points and Dusan Ristic added 16 as five Wildcats scored in double digits. Ryan Anderson had 15 points and Gabe York and Kadeem Allen each had 12.

Kaleb Tarczewski only scored six points, but had 15 rebounds — a career high for the senior center. Tarczewski was also a huge force on defense, blocking four shots.

“Just playing hard and trying to stay within who I am,” Tarczewski said about his rebounding performance. “Sometimes as a big man you can worry about not getting the ball and not scoring enough. Someone told me one time, ‘It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the letters. It’s not about how many points and rebounds you get; it’s about how many wins your team has.’”

After leading by 14 at halftime, Arizona continued to step on the throttle as the team went on a 14-2 run to open the half, taking a 52-26 lead with 15:53 to play. The Wildcats led by as many as 41 as they shot 57 percent from the field in the game, including 70 percent in the second half alone. Arizona dominated the rebounding battle 50-26.

“We knew we had a size advantage tonight and that’s obviously something we really wanted to use to our advantage,” Tarczewski said. “Everyone executed the game plan tonight and we really did a good job of getting the ball inside and protecting the rim.”

Arizona started off the game 8-0 in the first four and a half minutes. The Sun Devils went 0-6 with a turnover until they finally got a basket from Gerry Blakes. Arizona played lockdown defense on the Sun Devils, forcing them to shoot only 32 percent from the field, while also gathering eight blocks and forcing eight turnovers.

“I’ve talked a lot about our defense. Our defense was in place tonight,” head coach Sean Miller said. “We defended them as well as I think we can and the last time we played these guys in early January, they almost scored 90. Tonight they scored 61.”

Parker Jackson-Cartwright continued to play well in his new starting role at the point guard position. Jackson-Cartwright had eight points as well as seven assists and no turnovers.

ASU made only three of its first 14 shots, but despite being down 17-7 with 10:55 to play, the Sun Devils went on a 13-2 run take their first and only lead of the game at 20-19 with 7:43 to play in the half.

Arizona however turned the offense back on and went on a 15-2 run to end the half. Trier scored seven of his points during that stretch and the Wildcats went into the half leading 38-24.

“I’m still finding my way,” Trier said about his fourth game back from injury. “Still getting back to things and kind of like, just memorizing how I used to play on the court. I’m just happy to be back playing. When you sit out that long, it makes you not take basketball for granted and puts everything in perspective.”

Obinna Oleka and Andre Spight both had 15 points for the Sun Devils. Tra Holder, who normally averages about 15 points per game had 10 for ASU.

The Wildcats have a week off before traveling to Boulder, Colorado, and Salt Lake City next week.

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