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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 12 Arizona MBB set to take on UCLA

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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. 12 Arizona men’s basketball team is taking on UCLA Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. in McKale Center. Arizona recently beat USC 82-67 on Jan. 17, allowing the Wildcats to get back in the win column. Arizona looks to continue its success in the ongoing season as they prepare for the Bruins.

History vs. UCLA

Throughout the history between the two programs, Arizona holds a 48-60 series record against UCLA but is 28-20 when at home. The first meeting was Feb. 19, 1923, when UCLA secured the first victory. However, in their most recent meeting on March 11, 2023, Arizona won 61-59. Arizona is also 4-6 in the last 10 matchups and Saturday will be the 109th meeting between the two schools.

UCLA players to watch

Entering his fifth year with the Bruins, head coach Mick Cronin has delivered a 99-36 overall record for UCLA. The Bruins currently boast an 8-10 record and are ranked 9th in the Pac-12 standings. UCLA is coming off of two previous wins, defeating the University of Washington on Jan. 14, as well as ASU on Jan. 17.

Sebastian Mack is the first player to watch for; as a vital piece to the Bruins’ success, he leads the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. The freshman guard also contributes 4.2 rebounds per game and has been a force on the floor coming out of Coronado High School. 

Adem Bona is another player to look out for as he leads the team in rebounds averaging 6.5 per game as well as 2.1 blocks per game. Bona also contributes 11.8 ppg as he is the second leading scorer for UCLA. The power forward reached seven blocked shots in the game against ASU and put up 22 points in the matchup before that, against Washington

Dylan Andrews is another key for the Bruins. The sophomore guard leads the team in assists, averaging 3.5 assists per game and has 56 overall assists for the season. Additionally, Andrews is the team’s third leading scorer, averaging 10.1 ppg and obtained eight assists in the matchup against Washington.

Arizona players to watch

Caleb Love has been a consistent scoring threat for Arizona, leading the Wildcats with 18.4 ppg. Love continues to impress as he scored 20 points in the game against USC to help secure the win for the Wildcats. Love also provides Arizona with 4.9 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists. 

Pelle Larsson continues to show his importance, as the senior guard is shooting 55% from the field and averages 12.6 ppg. Larsson also averages 4.1 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists. Notably, he recently scored 13 points and four rebounds against USC.

Oumar Ballo is a player to watch for, as the seven-foot center racks in 8.9 rebounds per game, being the category leader for the Wildcats. He grabbed 13 rebounds against USC, but is watched as his free throw percentage continues to improve. He currently averages 12.4 ppg as the second leading scorer for the Wildcats and shoots 43.5% from the free throw line.


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