The Arizona men’s basketball team begins the season 1-0 after beating Northern Arizona University 81-52 to give Tommy Lloyd his first win as the Head Coach of Arizona. The Wildcats received contributions from everyone, their bench scoring 24 of their 81 points. But it was Arizona’s aggressive defense that led them to this win as they were able to record 11 steals and eight blocks as a team.
Arizona got out to a hot start defensively in their first game of the season, as they were able to force 10 turnovers which turned into 12 points for Arizona. It took the first couple of possessions for the Wildcats to find their offensive flow, starting point guard Kerr Kriisa led the way with nine points and two assists. Sophomore forward Dalen Terry also had a strong showing in his first action of the year with 11 points on 80 percent shooting with seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Arizona finished the half out strong on both ends, with a 9-0 run to go into halftime.
The second half began like the first with Arizona using great defense to lead to easy offense. Within the first 10 minutes of the second half, Arizona had six fast-break points and forced eight turnovers. They were able to get what they wanted on the offensive side as they dominated the paint with 40 points. Junior center Christian Koloko had a great all-around performance with eight points on 3-4 shooting four rebounds and five blocks.
After the game Terry complemented Koloko’s defensive improvement from his sophomore season in 2020.
“Christian (Koloko) can be that guy I see him do it all the time at practice.”
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Krissa led all Wildcats with 17 points, five assists and no turnovers. Coach Lloyd praised Kriisa postgame.
“I think he’s going to be one of the best point guards in college basketball, I love having him on the court,” Lloyd said.
Arizona moves to 1-0 on the season, the Wildcats will be back in action on Friday, November 12 at the McKale Center University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley at 7 p.m.
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