TUCSON, AZ – Taking on Morgan State (4-8) in one last non-conference tune-up game, No. 5 Arizona Basketball (12-1, 1-1) cruised in their 93-68 win.
Returning to McKale Center for one last non-conference tune-up before taking Arizona State next week for the start of conference play, No. 5 Arizona Basketball was back in action as they welcomed Morgan State.
Facing a bit of an “easier” test, Arizona was tested a bit early on, especially as the Bears came out firing, unafraid of competition.
Much like Tuesday’s game, it wasn’t Arizona’s prettiest game from start to finish; however, the Wildcats found their rhythm in the second half as they shot 57.6 from the field, eventually pacing themselves to the lopsided, 93-68 win.
Arizona’s starters combined for 75 of the teams’ 93 points, with Azuolas Tubelis leading the way with 26 points and grabbing nine rebounds while shooing 9-10 from the field including 2-2 from three.
Oumar Ballo had a big day as well, scoring 21 points on 8-8 shooting, including an impressive 5-6 from the charity stripe. Ballo would also grab six rebounds and dish two assists.
Despite a competitive start for Morgan State, No. 5 Arizona Basketball was able to pull away in the end to earn the big win.
Arizona may have dominated in the second half, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Wildcats got their best shot from Morgan State to begin the game.
Falling behind a bit early, Morgan State would jump out to a 14-9 lead over the first few minutes of the game. Arizona would regain the lead at 18-17, but the Bears wouldn’t go quietly, responding to each Wildcat run.
Trailing 24-20 with 8:48 to play in the half, Arizona responded with an 11-1 run to extend its lead to 31-25, before extending its lead even further and heading into the half with a 41-32 lead.
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.
The Wildcats jumped ahead by 16 with 12:28 to play in the game after Tubelis stole a pass around midcourt, dribbled around the Morgan State defender, and finished with the flush at the rim to make it 61-45.
Morgan State would cut Arizona’s lead to just 69-58 a few minutes later but luckily for us, the Wildcats finally found that second gear late in the second half, outscoring the Bears 24-10 to close out the game, earning the dominant 93-68 win!
With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 12-1 (1-1) on the season and will resume basketball action next Saturday when they take on rival Arizona State in Tempe. Tip-off for that game against the Sun Devils is set for 12:00 PM MST.