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No. 8 Arizona MBB secures fifth straight win with triple-overtime thriller against Utah and a blowout win over Colorado

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No. 8 Arizona MBB secures fifth straight win with triple-overtime thriller against Utah and a blowout win over Colorado


The No. 8 Arizona men’s basketball team went on the road this week for its two games, first meeting the University of Utah on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Wildcats secured a 105-99 victory over the Utes in triple overtime at Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Wildcats then traveled to Boulder, Colorado, to take on the University of Colorado, Boulder on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. in CU Events Center, dominating the Buffaloes with a secure 99-79 win, pushing Arizona to its fifth straight win.

Game 1: Arizona vs. Utah – Thursday, Feb. 8

Arizona managed to gain a 5-0 lead in the beginning minutes as Kylan Boswell sank a 3-pointer. It wasn’t long until Utah was able to find an answer, going on a 7-0 run to catch up to the score, quickly turning it around to 11-10. Out of the first timeout, Arizona regained the lead as shots stopped falling for the Utes, allowing Caleb Love to shoot a 3-pointer and push the lead to 22-15. Utah ended its scoring drought as a jumper by Deivon Smith helped get within six points of the score.

Under five minutes to go in the first half, a jumper by Jaden Bradley helped the Wildcats obtain a 10-point lead to gain a 31-21 advantage. Arizona went into halftime leading 41-25 as Keshad Johnson led the first quarter with nine points and four rebounds as Arizona also collected five steals, forcing eight Utah turnovers. Utah shot only 32.4% from the field and was 2 for 10 from the 3-point line in the first quarter as Smith led the Utes in the first half with six points, four rebounds and three assists.

Arizona kept its 16-point lead a few minutes into the second quarter until it was chipped away as Gabe Madsen made a shot from beyond the arc, lowering the deficit to 10. Branden Carlson made his own 3-pointer and proceeded to score on a dunk shortly after to bring the score to 56-48 and the lead down to single digits. Utah improved on defense throughout the second quarter, forcing Arizona to go 36.7% on field goal attempts. Carlson made another 3-pointer to get Utah within one-point of the score as the Utes improved to 8-11 on shots from beyond the arc in the second half. Arizona was unable to reclaim control of the score in the final minutes of the second quarter as Johnson made two free-throws to push the lead to five with one minute remaining. Madsen made a 3-pointer that tied the score at 76 and propelled the game into overtime.

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Pelle Larsson gave Arizona its lead on one of the six made collective shots from both teams in the first overtime. Carlson then gave Utah the lead off a layup with under two minutes to go in the added regulation when Love tied the game at 82 on a layup, forcing a double overtime. The Wildcats had a four-point lead gained from Love making all three free throws he was called for. Utah center Keba Keita made two of his free throws with a minute remaining, forcing the third and final overtime with the score sitting at 91.

Shots started to fall for the Wildcats in the third overtime as Love sank a 3-pointer to reclaim control of the 99-93 score. Bradley secured a nine-point lead on a made free throw, giving no room for the Utes to make a comeback. Arizona won 105-99 in triple overtime with all starters for the Wildcats scoring in double digits. Larsson achieved a career-high 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Love provided 19 points and 10 rebounds while acquiring two blocks as Oumar Ballo made an impact with 16 rebounds and three blocks. Carlson led Utah with 27 points and 15 rebounds and Smith finished with a triple-double putting up 14 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds.

Head coach Tommy Lloyd was asked about how crucial it is to win on the road during this time in the season:

 “If you want to compete for a conference Championship, you have to be able to compete and win some games on the road […]. I think we’re playing better basketball now, I think we’re building, and I think all these experiences are accumulating, and listen, we’re going into another place on Saturday, that they haven’t lost at home, they have really good players and a good coach it’s going to be tough. You know, we just need to dig down and see if we can find a way.”

Game 2: Arizona vs. Colorado – Saturday, Feb. 10

Arizona went into this game looking for its fifth win in a row as they succeeded with a blowout 99-79 victory over Colorado. The Buffaloes had a six-point lead at the start of the game but quickly lost consistency in scoring. Larsson made a layup to tie the game at eight when shortly after, Boswell made a 3-pointer to give Arizona the lead that it maintained for the rest of the game. Colorado guard KJ Simpson got within one-point of tying the game off a jumper halfway through the first quarter as the lead fluctuated when both teams traded turnovers back and forth.

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The Wildcats continued to be a few points ahead as Love extended the lead to 28-21 with a 3-pointer, not allowing Colorado to take over. Bradley made a layup off a turnover, pushing the lead to 10 with five minutes left in the quarter. A 3-pointer made by Julian Hammond Ⅲ got the Buffaloes within seven points which was as close as they got to the 47-40 score at halftime. Larsson and Love both collected 11 points leading the Wildcats in the first half, as Tristan da Silva had 11 points for Colorado.

Arizona never led under double-digits in the second quarter as the offense came out strong collectively shooting 54.1% from the field. The Wildcats dominated the second half, quickly building a 20-point lead caused by Love off a 3-pointer. With Colorado trailing the rest of the way, the deficit only shrunk to 14 points with needed free throws taken by J’Vonne Hadley with under eight minutes to go in regulation. Ultimately, Colorado was never able to chip away the score to regain control of the game, giving Arizona its first win in Boulder, Colorado, since 2015. Love led the Wildcats with 19 points going 4-6 from the 3-point line while Larsson followed with 18 points and 3 steals. Ballo had 16 points and 13 rebounds, collecting his fourth straight double-double in the past four games. Simpson and Da Silva each scored 20 points to lead Colorado as Simpson also managed to gain nine assists. Three technicals were assigned during the game with one on Johnson and two assigned to Colorado guards Hadley and Simpson.

“Nothing different, it was just like hey, we know what we’re playing for […]. Competing for the league championships is important to us and we knew playing well at Colorado, you know, it’s not make or break but it goes a long way to helping you so, we knew we had to play good, and our guys respect Colorado. We knew that they’re a dangerous team especially at home so they came out and responded.” said coach Lloyd when asked about the key to figuring out ways to stay consistent in the second half.

Looking ahead: 

Arizona will return home to get ready for a rivalry matchup against ASU on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center.


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Arizona State basketball upsets No. 21 Washington State

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Arizona State basketball upsets No. 21 Washington State


TEMPE — Arizona State men’s basketball pulled off a much-needed upset over No. 21 Washington State 73-61 on Saturday, defeating a ranked opponent for the first time this season.

The Sun Devils (14-14, 8-9) were dominant defensively. After defeating No. 5 Arizona only two days prior, the Cougars (21-7, 12-5) shot 17% from three, compared to 33% against the Wildcats. They only dropped three of their 18 attempts beyond the arc.

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley called this defensive performance one of the Sun Devils’ best this season.

“Our defense was up to the challenge tonight,” Hurley said. “I thought we stepped up in that regard, holding them to 3-of-18 from the three and making shots for Isaac Jones as difficult as possible.”

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On offense, Bryant Selebangue and Alonzo Gaffney dominated the paint for the Sun Devils. The two combined for 20 points with all 11 of Gaffney’s points coming in the second half.

Frankie Collins (14) and Adam Miller (12) both reached double digits, with Miller knocking down two clutch threes in the last five minutes of the game.

Jose Perez stuffed up the stat sheet with a team-leading 16 points, his fifth-straight game reaching double digits. Perez referred to himself as a “good egg,” and said the rest of the team were also “good eggs” today.

“I feel like if I have a one-on-one matchup, it’s a nightmare,” Perez said.

A good start has been hard to come by for the Sun Devils as of late, but this game showed differently.

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Collins and Jamiya Neal combined for 18 points in the first half to put the Sun Devils up seven points going into the break. Selebangue made his presence known down low early, finishing the first 20 minutes with six points and four rebounds.

This was the first time Arizona State held a lead after the first half since their 71-62 loss to Stanford on Feb. 1.

“We were talking about that a lot, making sure we come out early and coming out with energy,” Selebangue said. “That’s something that we’ve been capitalizing on more. Certain lineups work for certain rotations. This is something we’ve been figuring out over time and time, and it’s paying off right now.”

Selebangue continued to be a menace in the paint for the rest of the game, totaling seven rebounds including four on the offensive end of the floor.

Washington State came out flat. The Cougars turned the ball over nine times in the first half and had trouble finding their rhythm from three.

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Despite the Cougars’ mishaps, they were within two inside of seven minutes remaining. The Sun Devils responded with a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to 11, putting the game out of reach.

Cougars forward Jaylen Wells, who is shooting over 45% from three on the season, was held to zero points in the second half.

“I think if we’re going to have success the rest of the way, we’re not going to do it with one guy,” Hurley said. “Any time that we seem to win, there’s four or five guys that are in double figures. We need that type of production in the box score– It really gets us energized.”

A rematch with No. 5 Arizona awaits on Wednesday in Tempe, the last time the Sun Devils play at home this season.

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Love scores 28, No. 4 Arizona bounces back to beat Washington 91-75

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Love scores 28, No. 4 Arizona bounces back to beat Washington 91-75


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — One of the hallmark’s of Tommy Lloyd’s tenure at Arizona has been the ability to bounce back from a loss. The Wildcats have been doing it for three years, winning every time, almost always in a blowout.

Washington knew what was coming after the Wildcats lost to Washington State two days earlier. The Huskies just couldn’t do much about it.

Caleb Love scored 28 points to eclipse 2,000 for his career and No. 4 Arizona bounced back from its first home loss of the season with a 91-75 win over Washington on Saturday.

“Today was a response game,” coach Lloyd said. “You just want to get the result.”

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The Wildcats (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) lost at McKale Center for the first time this year Thursday night, falling 77-74 to No. 21 Washington State.

Arizona shook it off quickly with a short turnaround, blistering the Huskies with a near-perfect start to build a 17-point lead in the opening 7 1/2 minutes in the teams’ final meeting at McKale Center as Pac-12 members.

Arizona’s Oumar Ballo controlled the paint after a quiet first half, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots as the Wildcats turned back every Washington challenge. Arizona is 17-0 under Lloyd following a loss and has gone 99 straight games without losing two straight, the third-longest streak in Pac-12 history.

“We don’t let our last mistake affect our next opportunity,” Ballo said.

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The Huskies (15-13, 7-10) had a wild night to start their two-game desert swing, beating Arizona State 84-82 in overtime on Thursday night after blowing a 25-point lead.

Washington spent most of the afternoon against Arizona unsuccessfully trying to dig out of the big early hole, getting no closer than nine after falling behind by 23.

Koren Johnson led the Huskies with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“We knew they were going to come out after a loss and play with that type of intensity and fire — that’s what they do,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “We just didn’t handle it well.”

Arizona was plagued by bouts of questionable shot selection in the loss to Washington State.

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The Wildcats had no such problem early against the Huskies.

Crisply running the offense, Arizona hit its first seven shots and opened 11 of 12 to build a 27-11 lead. Washington fought back after absorbing the early body blow, using a 10-0 run to pull within 42-31.

But Arizona kept hitting shots and even got some help from Washington big man Braxton Meah, who inadvertently tipped the ball into his own basket.

The Wildcats hit 18 of 34 shots in the first half, including 6 of 10 from 3, to lead 52-35.

Arizona went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to go up 61-38, but went cold from the floor as Washington started chipping away.

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The Huskies used a 14-2 run to pull within 69-60, holding the Wildcats to 1-of-10 shooting during the rally. Arizona continued to struggle offensively, but turned up the defensive pressure to stretch the lead back out to 16.

“The character of these guys is they never give up, but you almost have to be perfect,” Hopkins said. “When you’re playing from behind against a team like that, it’s hard.”

LOVE’S MARK

Love started his career at North Carolina, hitting some massive shots during the Tar Heels’ run to the 2022 national title game.

Love’s role is slightly different at Arizona, but he’s still the go-to player in key moments. He scored 20 points in the first half as Arizona built the big lead and hit a couple more baskets late as the Wildcats extended the lead back out.

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Love needed 28 points to become the 22nd active player to reach 2,000 career points and got it right on the nose.

“I wanted to do it at home, God willing, but everything worked out and I got it,” he said. “If I didn’t get it I would have been happy to do it at their (rival Arizona State) place.”

BIG PICTURE

Washington: The Huskies had a second-half letdown against Arizona State and concluded their last Pac-12 desert trip by fighting an uphill battle most of the afternoon.

Arizona: The Wildcats will likely drop a spot or two in Monday’s AP Top 25, but had a nice rebound after losing their first home game with an eighth straight win over Washington.

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UP NEXT

Washington: Hosts UCLA on Thursday night.

Arizona: Visits rival Arizona State on Wednesday night.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball



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What channel is No. 4 Arizona's game on tonight? How to watch Arizona Basketball vs. Washington

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What channel is No. 4 Arizona's game on tonight? How to watch Arizona Basketball vs. Washington


We’ll get this out of the way (in lieu of our missed postgame while we were busy mourning the loss): Thursday night was tough. No. 4 Arizona Basketball’s game against No. 21 Washington State was a closely contested affair from start to finish; the ‘Cats were down 34-33 at the half and the game ended as a 77-74 loss. Washington State’s Jaylen Wells finished with a career-high 27 points and Isaac Jones had himself a day, too. Meanwhile, Caleb Love finished with 27 points of his own, but he was called for a travel while slipping on Arizona’s final offensive possession.

However, Arizona is still in possession of the fourth No. 1 seed in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology, and being the regular-season Pac-12 champions doesn’t hold nearly as much weight as winning the Pac-12 Tournament. The season is not lost, and it’s not time for doom and gloom yet.

15-12 (7-9). CBS. Feb. 24, 2024. UAUW. 20-6 (11-4). 511. Arizona -15.0. 12:00 p.m.. 521

No. 4 Arizona (20-6, 11-4 in Pac-12) will be looking to quickly get back into the win column at home in McKale Center against a Washington team (15-12, 7-9 in Pac-12) that barely held on against the same Arizona State squad that lost to Arizona by 45. Surprisingly, this is one of the few Pac-12 teams that Arizona only plays once this season, but Arizona is 8-2 in the last 10 matchups and has won the last seven straight dating back to 2020.

Arizona

Washington

Date: Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
Game start: 12:00 p.m. (noon)
Venue: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ

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Network: CBS
Stream available: Yes, on FuboTV

Betting partner: DraftKings
Line: Arizona -15.0
O/U: 166.5

dark. Preview. prev. No. 4 Arizona Basketball looks to bounce back vs. Washington

Don’t forget to follow us at @ZonaZealots on Twitter, follow us at @ZonaZealotsFS on Instagram, and like our fan page on Facebook for continued coverage of Arizona news, opinions, and recruiting updates!





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