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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats cut the trees down in Stanford, rout Cardinal by 39

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Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Wildcats guard Rawle Alkins (1) cuts behind Stanford Cardinal guard Robert Cartwright (2) for a shot during the first half of the No. 18 University of Arizona Wildcats vs. Stanford University Cardinal men’s college basketball game on Jan. 1, 2017, at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

No. 18 Arizona moved to 13-2 (2-0) on the season with a 91-52 victory over the Stanford Cardinal. Freshman Rawle Alkins led Arizona with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Arizona jumped out to an early lead in the game’s opening minutes. After the Cardinal opened the game with a two-point bucket, Arizona went on a 12-4 run and took control of the game in to the first media timeout with 15:57 to go in the first half.

The Wildcats’ second unit entered the game after the media timeout and the Cardinal was able to take advantage and go on a 7-0 spurt of their own prompting Arizona head coach Sean Miller to use his first timeout with 13:55 left in the first half.

Arizona had three turnovers in just over one minute and it allowed the Cardinal to gain their footing and settle in to the game. They brought the game to within a basket, 17-15, before freshman Rawle Alkins connected on a couple of three-pointers that kept the Wildcats in the lead.

After struggling to shoot in the first half of Thursday night’s matchup with the California Golden Bears, the Wildcats were able to put up one of their most efficient halves of the season against the Cardinal. They shot 67 percent from the floor and went 5-7 from beyond the arc in the first half.

While the Wildcats controlled the pace of the first half, the Cardinal was able to force the Wildcats in to eight turnovers. They were unable to take advantage committing nine turnovers of their own. Arizona would end the night with 19 turnovers, but was able to overcome them thanks to their efficient shooting night.

Arizona started the second half right where they left off in the first, and were able to put the game away early in the half. They began the half 5-8 shooting through the first five minutes, and held a 60-36 lead with 15:28 to go.

It was Arizona’s second best shooting performance of the season. The Wildcats shot 63 percent (30-48) from the field, and connected on 10 of 14 three-point attempts.

A big part of the Wildcats efficient night were the centers for Arizona. Junior Dusan Ristic and sophomore Chance Comanche combined for 29 points on 12-16 shooting for the night. Ristic finished with 16 points on 7-10 shooting and Comanche finished with 13 points on 5-6 shooting.

The Cardinal were unable to make any runs in the second half, and could not bring the score within 20 points in the second half.

Arizona had five scorers in double digits on the night. Alkins had 19 points, 10 of which came in the first half. Lauri Markkanen had 15 points and went 3-3 from beyond the arc. Ristic continued his hot stretch with 16 points and Comanche recorded his first double-double of the season. Freshman Kobi Simmons scored 11 points on the night, capping it off with an emphatic windmill dunk coming off of a steal late in the second half.

Junior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright participated in his second straight game following an ankle injury, and played 22 minutes recording six assists.

The Wildcats head back to Tucson this week for their second Pac-12 conference series against the University of Utah Utes and the Colorado Buffaloes.

They will face the Utes on Thursday, January 5th at 8 p.m. MST in McKale Center. The game will be aired on FS1.

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