TUCSON, AZ – Returning to action for a midweek matchup against Montana State (7-6), No. 5 Arizona Basketball (11-1, 1-1) came away with a convincing, 85-64 win.
Well, it wasn’t quite the electric game that we saw on Saturday evening; however, No. 5 Arizona Basketball was back in action as they welcomed a formidable team to town in the visiting Montana State Bobcats.
Taking on a solid group that won the Big Sky last year, Arizona was tested a bit early on, especially as the Bobcats came out firing, unafraid of competition.
Collectively, it wasn’t Arizona’s prettiest game, especially as the Wildcats shot 43.5 percent from the field and turned the ball over 13 times in their 85-64 win.
Arizona’s starters had big days, with Kerr Kriisa leading the way with 18 points and two assists on 6-10 shooting including 6-9 from three.
Former Campbell transfer Cedric Henderson Jr. had a huge game off the bench, scoring 16 points and grabbing four rebounds on 5-11 shooting. A far cry from the teams’ bench performance on Saturday night against Tennessee.
Despite a competitive start for Montana State, No. 5 Arizona Basketball was able to pull away in the end to earn the huge win.
The box score may show that Arizona won this one handily; however, things weren’t necessarily easy for the Cats at the start of this one.
Falling behind a bit early, Montana State would jump out to a 7-4 lead over the first few minutes of the game before Arizona’s offense began to find a rhythm.
Responding with a 12-4 run, Arizona pulled in front at 16-11 and never seemingly looked back despite the Bobcats’ attempts to stay in this one.
With every offensive surge, Montana State had a response keeping neck-and-beck with the Wildcats before Arizona was able to build a 44-38 lead at the half.
Starting the second half strong, Arizona would continue to find a bit of an offensive rhythm as they built a double-digit lead for much of the second half.
Jumping ahead by as many as 18 with 6:07 to play in the half, the Wildcats would finally hit that extra gear, using smothering defense and transition offense to stifle the Bobcats.
Montana State would cut Arizona’s lead to just 75-61 a few minutes later but luckily for us, it was too little too late as the Wildcats were able to close out the game by outscoring the Bobcats 10-3 to come away with the huge, 85-64 win!
With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 11-1 (1-1) on the season and will resume basketball action on Thursday when they take on Morgan State in McKale Center. Tip-off for Thursday’s game against the Bears is set for 6:00 PM MST.