Arizona MBB advances to the semi-finals of the Maui Invitational after beating Cincinnati

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Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

Pelle Larsson a guard on the Arizona men's basketball team encourages the crowd to get loud in their game on Nov. 17, in McKale Center. The Wildcats would win the game 104-77.

The Arizona men's basketball team and its high-power offense were on full display once again Nov. 21, beating the University of Cincinnati 101-93 in the opening round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The Wildcats scored 100 points for the third time out of four games this season.

The first half featured dominance from Arizona’s frontcourt. Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo combined for 34 points and 12 rebounds. Tubelis's performance was phenomenal, likely his best game as a Wildcat. The junior finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds on 12/18 shooting. Ballo also finished with a double-double, with 21 points and 10 boards. 

In his first game in the Arizona navy and red, fifth-year senior Courtney Ramey showcased his shotmaking ability scoring 14 points in the second half, helping fend off a late surge Wes Miller’s Bearcats provided. Ramey scored from all over the floor, a few impressive finishes at the rim, and big-time shots from downtown. With his 17 points, the senior added four rebounds and finished with a plus, minus differential of 12. 

Coming off a game against Utah Tech University where Cedric Henderson shot 8/11 from the field, he provided much of the same. The senior had 14 points against Cincinnati and added a monster dunk in the second half. Henderson could play a huge part of the Wildcats success this season. Head Arizona men's basketball coach Tommy Lloyd will likely count on the consistent production from the veteran. 

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Kerr Kriisa and his hot shooting were in full force, an area where his numbers have skyrocketed to start the season. Kriisa was 3/5 from 3-point land while distributing the ball at a high rate, adding seven assists. Certainly, there seems to be an improvement in his shot selection. Through four games, the 6-foot-3 Estonian native is shooting 68.8% from 3-point land. 

As a team, the Wildcats shot 62.3% from the floor and had 10 total turnovers, an area that the coaching staff will be pleased to see as the turnover rate was not pretty in the first three games of the season. 

With the opening round victory, Arizona will tip-off against San Diego State University in Hawaii in the second round of the tournament Nov. 22, at 8:30 p.m. MST.


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