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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 6 Arizona MBB completes season sweep of ASU

Giacomo Cain
Kylan Boswell leaps to shoot a lay-up against Southern University in McKale Center on Monday, Nov. 13. Boswell was named Pac-12’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week this week.

The No. 6 Arizona men’s basketball team completed its season sweep of ASU with an 85-67 victory over the Sun Devils on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Tempe, Arizona. The Wildcats (22-6, 13-4 in Pac-12) overcame early second-half struggles to collect the double-digit victory over their in-state rivals. With this victory, Arizona is 8-2 over its last 10 meetings against ASU.

First Half:

Converting on seven of their first 10 shots, the Wildcats grabbed a 12-point lead less than seven minutes into the first half, leading ASU 18-6. Kylan Boswell led the way early, scoring seven7 of Arizona’s first 18 points.

By the midway point of the opening half, the Wildcat lead had grown to 16, as Arizona led ASU 28-12. The Wildcats were shooting an efficient 12-19 (60%) from the field, while ASU struggled to get its shots to fall, shooting an abysmal 4-18 (22%). During the opening 10 minutes, Arizona, mastering bully ball, outscored the Sun Devils 14-2 in the paint.

The Wildcats would increased their lead to 18 before ASU would slowly chipped away at the deficit, cutting Arizona’s lead down to 12 late in the first half. The Wildcats would entered the break leading 41-27, closer than for the likingthey would’ve liked. Arizona shot 18-33 (40%) from the field, while the Sun Devils shot 9-31 (29%). The Wildcats dominated the paint, the boards and second-chance points. Arizona outscored ASU 24-6 in the paint, 24-15 on the glass, and 10-1 on second-chance points, which helped fuel its 14-point lead at the half.

When the two teams met in Tucson on Feb. 17, the Wildcats found plenty of success getting to the line, shooting 32 free throws in their blowout win over ASU. However, Arizona only shot two free throws in the first half of Wednesday night’s game against the Sun Devils.

Boswell led the Wildcats with 9 points, followed by Caleb Love, who had 8 points, along with six rebounds. Meanwhile, KJ Lewis (7 points), Oumar Ballo (6 points), and Pelle Larsson (5 points) combined for 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Second Half:

ASU opened the second half with a boatload of energy, utilizing an 8-0 run to cut Arizona’s lead down to single digits, as the Wildcats led 41-35. The Wildcats would avoided a total collapse as they grew their lead back up to double digits by the first media timeout of the second half, as they led ASU 48-37.

The Sun Devils would once again clawed their way back, cutting their deficit down to five as Arizona struggled to play clean basketball. Turnovers and fouls plagued the Wildcats throughout the opening eight minutes of the second half as they clung to a 52-47 lead.

By the midway mark of the second half, the Wildcats got their lead back up to double-digits, leading 57-47. However, ASU would quickly countered, narrowing the gap back down to 6 points moments later. With just over seven minutes left in the game, Boswell, leading Arizona with 17 points, was whistled for his fourth foul of the game after making a fantastic defensive play. Boswell, visibly frustrated, could be seen shoutingshouted, “That was all ball.!

The Wildcats would ggoet into a rhythm late, utilizing a 7-0 run down the stretch, to pull away from ASU late, defeating the Sun Devils 85-67. Arizona shot 32-59 (38%), while ASU shot 21-60 (27%). Arizona continued its domination of the paint and boards, outscoring ASU 44-20 in the paint and 43-30 on the glass.

Boswell finished the night with 17 points, one shy of his career high. Love finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Ballo collected his eighth consecutive double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds, now just two double-doubles from tying the school record by Al Fleming. Meanwhile, Larsson scored 12 points, Keshad Johnson added 10, and Jaden Bradley and Lewis finished with 7 points.

Looking ahead:

The Wildcats return home to McKale Center for one final time to face the University of Oregon on Saturday, March 2, at noon.

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