TUCSON, AZ – No. 9 Arizona Basketball (10-1, 1-1) avenged their 2021 loss to No. 6 Tennessee (9-2), beating the Volunteers by a 75-70 final.
Playing in front of a sold-out McKale Center, the energy was buzzing from the tip as No. 9 Arizona Basketball welcomed No. 6 Tennessee for a marquee showdown between two, Top 10 teams.
Looking to avenge their 2021 loss that happened in Knoxville,the Wildcats were slightly favored, after all, playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Tucson would provide the Wildcats had a little bit of home cooking!
Collectively, it wasn’t Arizona’s prettiest game shot 42.6 percent from the field including a paltry 20.8 percent from three as Arizona came away with the hard fought, 75-70 win.
Arizona’s starters had big days, scoring all 75 of the teams’ points; however, it was Azuolas Tubelis, Oumar Ballo, and Pelle Larsson that were the difference-makers here, scoring 19 points, 18 points, and 17 points on a combined 17-31 shooting.
No. 9 Arizona Basketball were neck and neck the first half, but a few key runs in the second half propelled the Cats to the huge win.
Arizona may not have dominated this game overall, but things didn’t necessarily favor the Cats in the start of this one.
Falling behind a bit early Arizona would jump ahead at 11-10 after a technical foul on Uros Plavsic gave the Wildcats a four-point swing. But unfortunately, Tennessee would respond with a 17-9 run to take their largest lead of the game at 27-20.
Still struggling to find its offense, luckily, Arizona would finally find a rhythm to close out the half, ending it by outscoring Tennessee 15-8 to enter halftime tied at 35-35.
Starting out the second half strong, Arizona would continue to find a bit of an offensive rhythm as they built a slim lead for much of the second half.
Jumping ahead by as many as 10 with 7:24 to play, a technical called on Kerr Kriisa would wipe the Wildcats’ momentum, resulting in an 8-point swing by the Volunteers.
Tennessee would cut Arizona’s lead to just 64-63 with 5:17 to play.
Using stifling defense and continuing to attack the paint, the Wildcats were able to close out the game by outscoring the Vols 11-7 to come away with the huge, 75-70 win!
With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 10-1 (1-1) on the season and will resume basketball action on Tuesday when they take on Montana State in McKale Center followed by a Thursday showdown against Morgan State. Tip-off for Tuesday’s game against the Bobcats is set for 6:30 PM MST.