TUCSON, AZ – Despite a close first half, No. 3 Arizona Basketball (5-0) was able to tighten things up in the second half, surging to a 101-56 win!
Perhaps feeling the effects of playing its fourth game in the last nine days, things were not prettiest for the first 20 minutes, especially as UT Arlington gave No. 3 Arizona Basketball everything they could handle.
The visiting Mavericks didn’t back down from the opening tip shooting an impressive 14-29 (48.3 percent) from the field, including 6-10 (60.0 percent) from three as they trailed the Cats by six at the break.
Luckily, Arizona would make some much-needed defensive adjustments, tightening the clamps on UT Arlington, pacing themselves to the 101-56 win as the Wildcats outscored the Mavericks 58-19 in the second half.
Arizona had seven different players finish in double-figures with Oumar Ballo and Kylan Boswell leading the way, scoring 15 points each respectively.
Arizona’s bench would also have a big game as Sophomore guard Jayden Bradley scored 13 points on 5-7 shooting, meanwhile, Freshmen Motiejus Krivas and Paul Murauskas added with 10 and six points respectively.
Despite only leading by six at halftime, a strong second-half push by No. 3 Arizona Basketball fueled the Cats in their 45-point win!
Hoping to continue its hot start to the 2023-24 season, this one wouldn’t start the way the Cats had hoped as the visiting Mavericks gave everything they could handle in the first half.
Not backing down from competition, UT Arlington jumped out to an early, 9-3 lead with 17:07 left to play in the half.
Responding with a 10-2 run, Arizona would take the lead at 13-11 after a pull-up jumper from Pelle Larsson, but once again, UT Arlington would have a response.
Continuing to trade buckets, the Mavericks would take the lead at 25-23, eventually pushing ahead to 30-25 with 6:30 to play in the half.
That’s when Arizona responded with another 10-2 run, this time taking the lead for good at 35-32 as the Wildcats closed out the half outscoring UT Arlington 8-5 as the Cats led 43-37 at the break.
Leading by a slim, six points at the half, Arizona’s defense would need to make quite a few adjustments if they were going to come away victorious in this one!
Luckily, the Cats were up to the task as they opened the second half on a 14-0 run to make it 57-37 in favor of the Wildcats with 15:40 to go.
Starting to create some distance for themselves, the offensive and defensive dominance wouldn’t cease either as Arizona pushed its lead to 31 after a fast break dunk by Krivas made it 70-39.
Still not done, the Wildcats would use another dominant swing in the game, outscoring the visiting Mavericks 28-9 over the next eight-plus minutes of game time as Arizona led by as many as 48 with 2:13 to play.
Leading comfortably at 96-48, the Cats would eventually cruise to the dominant, 101-56 win!
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 5-0 on the young season and will resume basketball action on Thursday (Thanksgiving) when they take on ranked Michigan State in Palm Desert, CA as part of the Acrisure Classic. Tip-off against the Spartans is set for 2:00 PM MST!
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Eric Townsend zonazealots.com Wildcats Basketball
2023-11-20 14:56:36 , Zona Zealots