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The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 10 Arizona MBB demolishes Colorado in return back home

UAs+Pelle+Larsson+%285%29+and+Motiejus+Krivas+%2814%29+follow+Keshad+Johnsons+%2816%29+shot+in+their+game+against+CU+Boulder+on+Thursday%2C+Jan.+4+in+McKale+Center.+UA+secured+a+third+rank+in+the+Pac-12+Conference+after+their+97-50+point+win.%0A
Olivia Malone
UA’s Pelle Larsson (5) and Motiejus Krivas (14) follow Keshad Johnson’s (16) shot in their game against CU Boulder on Thursday, Jan. 4 in McKale Center. UA secured a third rank in the Pac-12 Conference after their 97-50 point win.

The No. 10 Arizona men’s basketball team returned home, defeating the University of Colorado 97-50 on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center. The Wildcats, coming off a disappointing 100-82 loss against Stanford University on Dec. 31, sought improvement on both ends of the floor in this game, aiming to gain an early lead. Arizona continues to lead the series 23-15 against the Buffaloes and protect home court doing so.

First Half

Kylan Boswell immediately started the game with a 3-pointer, scoring for Arizona. With early offense from both teams, it didn’t take long for Arizona to gain control of the lead, finding themselves ahead by 10 points in the first five minutes of regulation. Out of a timeout, Motiejus Krivas hit back-to-back shots, leading Arizona to a 20-6 score. Eddie Lampkin scored to stop the growing lead, which was 25-11 after his layup but was shortly after answered by a 3-pointer from KJ Lewis. With Arizona bringing on a dominant offense, Colorado was stunned as to how to answer with two of their leading scorers, guard Cody Williams and forward Tristan da Silva, both remaining out. Pelle Larsson joined in scoring, pushing Arizona to a 23-point lead after his own 3-pointer. Caleb Love closed the first quarter with a layup, allowing Arizona to be up 50-23 at halftime.

Boswell was a force on the floor, leading the first half with 12 points, going 4-7 from the 3-point line. Love was right behind him with 11 points as the Buffaloes collectively shot 10-30 in the first quarter, unable to fight against Arizona’s defense.

Second Half

The Wildcats opened the second quarter continuing with their strong offense as Keshad Johnson and Love both continued to score for Arizona. Johnson then put up a jumper, beating the shot clock just in time to put Arizona back up by 30 points. The deficit seemed to be getting larger as Colorado was running out of time to cut the lead but ultimately couldn’t slow down Arizona after taking over early. Larsson continued to score on a jumper, eventually propelling Arizona to go on a run where their lead turned to 40 points after a layup by Krivas. Within the remaining moments of the game, Arizona held Colorado to only 50 points as the Wildcats won 97-50. Larsson led the team in scoring with 18 points, as the other Wildcats—Love (16 points), Krivas (15 points) and Boswell (14 points)—didn’t trail too far behind. Notably, Krivas and Oumar Ballo both had nine rebounds apiece. Javon Ruffin was the leading scorer for Colorado with 11 points, as KJ Simpson scored 10 points and seven rebounds.

Head coach Tommy Lloyd was asked about what drove both the offense and defense in the game:

 “I always want to play complimentary basketball. I think your defense has to complement your offense and your offense has to complement your defense […]. If you’re playing with great force on the defensive end, rebounding, and getting in transition, that’s usually a good formula.”

Looking ahead

Arizona will remain in Tucson as they get ready to match up against the No.15 University of Utah on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center.


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