Arizona Men's Basketball: Three stats that defined Arizona's 87-65 blowout win over Cal
The Arizona Wildcats wrapped up their Bay Area road trip in style on Sunday night as they blew out Cal 87-65 in Berkeley. The win moves Arizona to 13-4 on the season and 4-0 in Pac-12 play. Here are a couple stats that stood out in the win over the Golden Bears:
40 first-half points
Arizona had to not only overcome the second game in three days, but also a potential trap game in Berkeley, where Arizona has suffered nightmares before. The Wildcats made sure that they put any fear or doubt of an upset to rest early, as Brandon Williams came out of the gate with 10 quick points, ending the half with 12. Chase Jeter dominated every forward the Golden Bears threw at him, finishing the first frame with 13 points and eight rebounds to help provide a 12-point lead at intermission.
Arizona has almost made a habit of starting slow this season, allowing teams that aren't as good as they are to hang around in games for longer than they need to. To see the Wildcats start to address and correct their bad habits is a good sign heading into the most important part of their schedule. If they can continue to come out of the gate hot, they could see themselves at the top of the Pac-12 come March.
The Wildcats ended the first half with eight turnovers and could have ended the half in double digits if a couple bounces ended up not going their way. The turnovers stunted the Wildcats' ability to establish an offensive rhythm in the first 20 minutes. Even though Arizona walked into the visitors locker room up 12, the Wildcats left a lot of meat on the bone, and this was undoubtedly brought up in Sean Miller's intermission speech.
The speech must have worked, because Arizona didn’t commit their ninth turnover until 10 minutes into the second half, allowing Arizona to open up a lead that allowed Wildcats that are usually on the end of the bench doing warm ups to get a couple minutes of playing time. We all know how good Arizona is on defense, but if they can take care of the basketball on the other side of the court, they will be sitting pretty.
Chase Jeter dominated inside and put together one of the best all-around performances he has had in an Arizona jersey. The Duke transfer set the tone early and often, finding the holes in the Cal defense off the ball and dominating in the post whenever he had the ball in his hands, ending the night with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Arizona hasn’t dominated inside so far this season, like they have in past, but tonight’s performance by the team captain gave a glimpse of what the Las Vegas native can bring to the Wildcats on any given night. If Arizona wants to make a run in the Pac-12 tournament, no less in the NCAA Tournament, Jeter is going to have to be central to the game plan. Tonight’s game was a step in the right direction.
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