HALFTIME: Arizona basketball leads 37-34 over Cal Poly

As Arizona basketball heads into halftime against the Cal Poly Mustangs, the team finds itself clinging to a 37-34 advantage.

In order to combat Cal Poly’s offense which relies less heavily upon big men, the Wildcats decided to go with a smaller, quicker lineup; leaving out center Kaleb Tarczewski and featuring guards T.J. McConnell, Nick Johnson and Gabe York and forwards Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley.

Gordon acted as the offensive catalyst for Arizona and began the game with seven points, a block, and two rebounds in his first six minutes of play. The highly anticipated freshman compiled a team-leading nine points and eight rebounds along with two blocks overall during the first half.

After establishing a lead of seven points multiple times over the first six minutes, Arizona found itself up 17-10 before the Mustangs changed the momentum and proceeded to go on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes, leaving the score at 17-19 with nine minutes left in the half.

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McConnell, a junior transfer from Duquesne, brought back the Wildcats’ lead by sinking a three pointer in the ninth minute. McConnell represents Arizona first pass-first point guard in years and a has team-leading three assists. The Pittsburgh, Pa, native accounted for just three of the team’s 37 points, but had two steals and a rebound.

Ashley shared team-leading honors with nine points, shooting 3-for-3 from the field and also had five rebounds and a steal.

Johnson continued to establish himself as a leader and shot 2-for-4 from the field, scoring five points and adding a rebound.

After shining in the team’s 84-52 exhibition victory over Augustana, York has settled down dramatically. The Orange, Calif. native put up just one point and shot 0-for-3 from the field including two missed three-point attempts.

Freshman forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson contributed by scoring 6 points and compiled three rebounds.


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Updated December 8, 2021