No. 3 Arizona MBB defeated Cal by 25 points

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Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

Bennedict Mathurin, a guard on the Arizona men's basketball team, takes a layup on Saturday, Nov. 27, in McKale Center. The Wildcats went on to win the game 105-59.

Arizona men’s basketball continued their hot start to PAC-12 play, with a 96-71 win over Cal on Sunday, Jan. 23. This win brings the Wildcats to 16-1 on the year and 6-0 in the conference.  

Arizona’s offense continued to roll in the first half against Cal, they were led by Oumar Ballo who had 11 points on 4-4 shooting shooting. Their aggressive style on the defensive side of the ball held Cal to 26 percent shooting from the field.

Once again the Wildcats are getting contributions from their entire roster as their bench added 15 points in the opening half. Benedict Mathurin was the other Wildcat to reach double figures with 10. 

They started well, going up 17-3 carried by shining performances of Christian Koloko (19 points and 13 rebounds) and Bennedict Mathurin (14 and eight rebounds). 

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Koloko’s game is particularly significant after the poor performance at Stanford. Arizona closed the half 48-27.

It was more of the same from Arizona in the second half, they were able to keep their offense clicking as they scored 96 points on 48 percent shooting from the field. 

They continued to drive to the basket which led to easy looks inside where they totaled 34 points in the paint. This also led to open threepoint shots where Arizona hit 41 percent of them. 

In the half, Arizona struggled a bit at the beginning and won the last 20 minutes only by four, 48-44. Kerr Krissa and Justin Kier  were also in double digits with 13 and 10 points. 

Ballo again was productive after the career-high 21 points against Stanford. Coach Tommy Lloyd experimented with him and Koloko together for a good stretch of the game, a solution that may come in handy if Tubelis can not compete against UCLA on Tuesday. 

 Lloyd was able to use his whole bench in this contest because the Wildcats held a comfortable lead for most of the game. 

Arizona was also able to keep possessions alive with 13 offensive rebounds. 

Azuolas Tubelis, officially listed as day-by-day after spraining his ankle against Stanford, sat against California, but may play Tuesday against UCLA. 

Arizona turned the ball over only 8 times in the game and collected 46 rebounds. Arizona shot 48% from the field (31/64) with 41% (11/27) from the 3-point-line and 82%  (23/28) on foul shots.

Next up: Arizona will face UCLA in California on Tuesday at 9:00 P.M. before facing Arizona State University in McKale center next Saturday. 


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