The Arizona men's basketball defeated the University of Utah on the road by a final score of 97-77.
With this solid performance, Arizona is 25-2 since the start of the season and 15-1 in Pac-12 play. Considering the remainder of the schedule and UCLA’s loss against the University of Oregon, it seems likely that the Wildcats will win the Pac-12.
Arizona opened up strong, going on an 8-0 run to start the game before slowing down a bit. Utah evened things up 18-18, but, from that moment on, Arizona took control of the game.
Kerr Kriisa exploded for seven 3-pointers in the first half, including the half-court pray at the buzzer that gave Arizona a 20 point lead at 53-33. Kriisa closed the game with an incredible triple-double, with 21 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the first triple-double since Andre Iguodala in 2004.
In the second half, Arizona had a 30 point advantage, before closing the game 97-77. Ten players scored in the game for the Wildcats, including rarely-used Adama Bal and Shane Nowell. Every player in the starting lineup went in double digits, apart from the aforementioned Kriisa, Azuolas Tubelis had 23 points, Bennedict Mathurin 14, Dalen Terry 14 and Christian Koloko 11.
Utah, now 11-17 and 4-14 in the conference, was carried by the performance of Gabe Madsen, who scored 15 points.
The Wildcats erupted for an absurd 42.9% from the 3-point line, with an excellent 84.6% from the charity stripe and 52.1% from the field. With 24 assists, Arizona more than doubled Utah’s 11. If the free throws problem passed the test on Thursday, the same can’t be said for the turnovers. Arizona lost the ball 16 times. Albeit the assists/turnovers ratio remains positive, head coach Tommy Lloyd will want to work more on this.
Kriisa sometimes looks as if he’s carried away by his own energy and tends to either score or lose the ball in these moments.
Arizona will visit the University of Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 26 before traveling to California to play the University of South Carolina on Tuesday.
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