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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona men’s basketball keeps home winning streak alive with 12 point win against Stanford

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Marison Bilagody

Arizona player, Justin Kier (5), celebrates making a three point shot in McKale Center on March 3. Kier made two three pointers in the win against Stanford.

The Arizona Men’s Basketball Team defeated the Stanford Cardinal 81-69 this win moves them 27-3 on the season and 17-2 in the PAC-12. 

Arizona and Stanford opened the game a little slow with each team committing a turnover on their first possession. Stanford found their three-point shot early on in the first half as they were able to hit their first three attempts (7-10 in the first half) to give them a 17-15 advantage with just under 11 minutes left in the opening half. 

After this media timeout, Stanford kept their hot shooting going and they were able to hold the Wildcats scoreless for over four minutes to extend their lead to seven points with just under eight minutes left.

In the last eight minutes of the first half, the Arizona offense finally began to see shots go down as they were able to cut the Stanford lead to as little as two points. While Arizona was able to cut into the Stanford lead, they were not able to take the lead thanks to Michael O’Connell’s 16 first-half points. Arizona hit their last six shots of the half, Bennedict Mathurin led the way for the Cats with 12 points as they went into halftime down 39-37. 

The second half started the way many of Arizona’s games do as they start slow in the first and begin to pick up the intensity as the game goes on. The Wildcat offense seemed to have found their stride as they made all four of their shots to being the half, including a four-point play from Kerr Kriisa. Arizona was able to take a 47-43 lead forcing Stanford to take the first timeout. 

Stanford was able to answer with a run of their own to take a 55-54 lead, in response Arizona Guard Justin Kier hit back-to-back threes to give Arizona the lead back. Stanford was forced to call their final timeout with 6:51 left in the game after Mathurin hit a three then the next possession he was able to get a transition dunk to give Arizona a 67-58 lead. 

RELATED: Arizona WBB fall to Colorado 45-43 in the Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals 

The momentum the run by Mathurin created carried the Wildcats for the rest of the game and helped them close it out. If Arizona continues to have slow starts like this it will end up hurting in the tournament, because it will be hard to comeback against stronger teams.

Sophomore guard Dalen Terry left the game injured late in the second half, he did return to the bench but did not return to the game. When asked about the injury Head Coach Tommy Lloyd was not very concerned.

“I think he is fine, besides the missed layups” said, Lloyd. 

Arizona will play their final game of the season and have Senior Night vs California on Saturday, March, 5 at 3 p.m. in Mckale Center. 


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