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The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 10 Arizona MBB cruises past Utah in 19-point win

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Olivia Malone
UA’s Pelle Larsson (5) and Motiejus Krivas (14) follow Keshad Johnson’s (16) shot in their game against CU Boulder on Thursday, Jan. 4 in McKale Center. UA secured a third rank in the Pac-12 Conference after their 97-50 point win.

The No. 10 Arizona men’s basketball team took on the University of Utah on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center where the Wildcats attained a 92-73 victory. Arizona successfully beat the University of Colorado by 47 points, in its recent 97-50 win on Thursday, Jan. 4. Arizona will continue to lead the series against Utah, 37-31 with this current victory.

First Half

After the opening tip was won by Arizona, Caleb Love scored, only to be answered just as fast on the other end until Arizona was up 6-2. With a loose control of the lead, Utah and Arizona went bucket for bucket in the opening minutes as Gabe Madsen put the Utes up 12-11 with a 3-pointer. As multiple lead changes occurred, Keshad Johnson put up a shot from beyond the arc for Love to then score a layup to put Arizona ahead by eight points with a score of 27-19.

Madsen was crucial for Utah’s offense as he made two 3-pointers to close the now 32-29 gap. Ben Carlson joined shooting from beyond the arc when he tied the game at 36. Shortly after, Kylan Boswell excited the crowd making back to back 3-pointers able to extend Arizona’s lead 42-36. The Wildcats headed into the half leading 42-39 with Boswell being the leading scorer for Arizona with 11 points and Madsen leading Utah with 12 points of his own.

Second Half

Utah opened the second half with a jumper by Cole Bajema while Arizona hung onto its 1-point lead. Love dunked the ball to put Arizona up by 9 forcing a timeout by Utah and erupting the crowd in McKale. The Wildcats proceeded to go on a 12-0 run after gaining a steady lead at 59-45. Bajema made a 3-pointer to chip away the score then soon after, Pelle Larsson gained his 1000-career point with an alley-oop pass from Love. The lead swelled to 15 with back to back 3-pointers from Love allowing no room for Utah to get comfortable. Under ten minutes to go, Utah ultimately did not attain worthy possessions to cut into Arizona’s lead. Oumar Ballo also achieved his 1000-career point with an exclamation dunk to further put away the game.

All of Arizona’s starters scored within double digits including Love leading the way with 23 points as well as six rebounds and six assists. Johnson followed with 20 points and Ballo notably scored 17 points and nine rebounds. Madsen was the leading scorer for Utah, finishing with 18 points. The Wildcats dominated the paint, scoring 50 points while holding the Utes to 26. Arizona concluded its win with a 19-point margin, beating Utah 92-73.

Head coach Tommy Lloyd was asked about all five starters being in double figures and what it speaks to the balance of the team:
“Well you know, we want to play balanced basketball […]. The balance is something we strive for, we don’t really tilt our offense in one direction for any one player, we want to make great decisions to play great team basketball.”

Looking ahead

The Wildcats will be heading on the road to face Washington State University on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 4:00 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum.


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