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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 9 Arizona MBB beats No. 6 Tennessee and moves to 10-1 on the season

Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball forward Azuolas Tubelis attempts a layup on Dec.13, 2022 in McKale Center. The Wildcats won against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi by a score of 99-61.

360 days later, the University of Arizona men’s basketball team got revenge for their loss to the University of Tennessee a season ago. The Wildcats came out on top this time 75-70 on Dec. 17 in McKale Center in Tucson.

Arizona now moves to 10-1 on the season while being the only team in college basketball with four wins over top-25 teams in the country.

“For us to get a gritty W against a team like Tennessee, it’s a great night,” head coach Tommy Lloyd said.

The Wildcats’ starters scored all 75 points in this game as their bench had zero points in the contest. Four out of their five starters finished the game with at least 10 points as Azuolas Tubelis once again led the team in scoring with 19.

The X-factor in this game was Pelle Larsson. He got off to a slow start this season but has played better in the last three games. Larsson tied his season high in points with 17 while having eight rebounds, four assists and being 9-9 from the free throw line. He still has not shot the ball great from deep but has figured out other ways to positively affect the team.

“Pelle [Larsson] is a really good player; we needed his force,” Lloyd said.

“I can always play harder, so I’m focusing on that,” Larsson said.

Oumar Ballo had 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks against a tough and physical Volunteer defensive unit. This was Ballo’s fifth game this season with at least 18 points. The Wildcats’ one-two punch in the front court continues to lead the way.

Arizona out-rebounded Tennessee 38-30 while having four players with at least five rebounds.

The Wildcats now have won 25 straight games in their home arena—McKale Center.

“It was a great win, but you know what the biggest game is: the next one,” Lloyd said.

Arizona has two games this week starting off with a matchup against Montana State University on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in McKale Center. The Wildcats finish the week off with Morgan State University before having an eight-day break.

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