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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 11 Arizona MBB defeats Stanford 82-71

Noor Haghighi
Oumar Ballo and Caleb Love wait to play against Stanford in McKale Center on Feb. 4. Ballo and Love each scored 18 points.

The No. 11 Arizona men’s basketball team defeated Stanford University 82-71 on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center. Arizona is coming off a commanding 91-65 win over the University of California, Berkeley, when the Wildcats met against the Golden Bears on Feb. 1. Arizona continues to hold a 71-34 series record lead against Stanford, but recently suffered a 100-82 loss against the Cardinal back on Dec. 31, 2023 in Maples Pavilion, California.

First Half

Opening the first half, Caleb Love scored a 3-pointer on the first shot of the night, and Maxime Raynaud answered on the other end with a 3-pointer of his own. Stanford quickly grabbed a 10-6 lead after a made jumper by Michael Jones, who went on to score a 3-pointer due to an Arizona turnover. Arizona decided to call a timeout after a brief 9-0 run by Stanford in the early minutes of the first quarter, during which six 3-pointers were traded back and forth.

The lead was nine with a score of 26-17 when Pelle Larsson made a layup, allowing Motiejus Krivas to block a shot while dunking the ball on the next play, catching up to the 26-21 score. After 12 minutes into the game, Raynaud made two free throws to maintain the Cardinal lead. Stanford retained three back-to-back possessions but failed to score on all of them, going 0-10 on shots. KJ Lewis tied the game at 28, forcing a timeout on a 7-0 Arizona run.

Coming out of the timeout Brandon Angel hit a jumper which was followed by a 6-0 Stanford run after matching the score at 32. The Cardinal built back up a 10-point lead approaching two minutes to go in the first quarter due to a 3-pointer taken by Raynaud. Arizona went into the half trailing 45-34. Stanford went 9 for 19 on shots from the 3-point line and were able to obtain five steals in the first quarter. Raynaud led Stanford in the first half with 21 points, going 3-3 from beyond the arc and 8-10 on his shots, while Jones followed with 16 points of his own. For Arizona, Ballo scored eight points to lead the Wildcats in the first half.

Second Half

Out of the halftime break, Arizona erased the lead Stanford created and went toe-to-toe with the score, only being separated by a few possessions. The Wildcats got within three points of the 45-42 score following a free throw by Ballo, after a made layup. Stanford was seemingly in control, leading by six points, as Larsson hit a jumper on the other end, denting the 52-48 lead. Love tied the game at 52 off a layup. Lewis erupted the crowd in McKale with a dunk to push the Arizona lead to three.

Arizona began an 11-0 run after three turnovers by Stanford, allowing Krivas to extend the lead to 59-52 after a layup that he tipped in. With under 10 minutes to go in the second quarter, Raynaud made another 3-pointer to get within two points of the score, which was as close as the Cardinal would get for the rest of the night. Angel was able to quiet the blaring crowd in McKale with a 3-pointer off a turnover, fighting against the clock and the 69-65 score. A dunk by Ballo gave momentum to save Arizona’s 71-65 lead, which was solidified and expanded into ten points off of Jaden Bradley’s crucial free throws. Arizona secured the 82-71 home victory over Stanford, as the Cardinal were unable to chip away the lead the Wildcats built late in the second half.

Raynaud finished leading Stanford with 29 points and six rebounds while Love and Ballo matched for 18 points apiece. Additionally, Ballo grabbed 13 rebounds, achieving a double-double in back-to-back games while Love obtained eight rebounds and seven assists for the night.

Head coach Tommy Lloyd was asked about the support shared between the team and how the players react to one another’s success:

“We’re a team; I mean, we’re a program […]. We’re never going to be a program that is going to try and showcase one player, you know I mean, we want our team to represent Tucson. Tucson is a tough blue-collar town, and that’s how we want to play. No one needs to shine; we just need to get the result, and that’s how we approach it.”

Looking ahead

The Wildcats will be traveling to Salt Lake City, to visit the University of Utah with the two programs set to meet on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in Jon M. Huntsman Center.

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