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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona MBB earns first win on California trip against Stanford

Marison Bilagody

Arizona men’s basketball team’s Justin Kier (5) and Pelle Larsson (3) celebrate after a defensive stop in McKale Center on Jan. 13. Arizona held the University of Colorado to 55 points.

The Arizona men’s basketball team defeated Stanford 85-57. This win brings the Wildcats to 15-1 on the season and 5-0 in the Pac-12. 

The Wildcats got out to a hot start as they were able to jump out to an early 18-5 lead. Bennedict Mathurin leads the way offensively early with 10 points after making his first four shots. Arizona played very aggressively on both sides of the ball in the first half. They were able to force 11 Stanford turnovers, but that style of play also led to the Wildcats committing nine giveaways. Arizona was still able to keep a comfortable lead due to their efficient shooting as they made 57% of their shots in the half. Stanford was able to gain some momentum after a sloppy play by the Wildcats, allowing the Cardinal to cut their lead to 11 points before the half.

Their sloppy play to end the first half did not have a carryover effect into the second half as they were able to extend their lead to 21 points within the first five minutes. It was the same approach in the second half from Arizona, as their high-intensity defense created easy offensive scores. Arizona was able to keep their efficient offense rolling as they were able to get easy looks at the basket, outscoring Stanford 48-20 in the paint.

The Wildcats received a big contribution from their bench with center Christian Koloko being limited due to foul trouble and forward Azuolas Tubelis leaving early with an ankle injury. Center Oumar Ballo led the bench unit with a career-high 21 points. He was one of five Wildcats to reach double-digit points. Pelle Larsson had 13 points, Mathurin also finished with 13, Justin Kier added 11 and Dalen Terry had 10 points and nine rebounds. Arizona stayed locked in on the defensive side for the whole game. Stanford only totaled 57 points and did not have a player in double figures. 

RELATED: Arizona MBB preview vs Stanford and Cal

Tubelis suffered a left ankle injury during the first half of the game and didn’t return to action. He was seen wearing a boot on his left foot during the second half. 

Arizona’s road trip continues as they will take on the University of California, Berkeley, on Sunday, Jan. 23, at 1 p.m. MST. They will also take on UCLA in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. MST. 

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