LAS VEGAS, NV – Looking to avenge its previous loss to Stanford, No. 8 Arizona Basketball (26-6, 14-5) weathered injuries and hot shooting to win 95-84.
Well, it may not have been the prettiest win, but it was a win nonetheless as No. 8 Arizona Basketball lived up to the March mantra of ‘survive and advance’.
Traveling to McKale North (aka Las Vegas) for the annual Pac-12 Conference Tournament, the Wildcats opened tournament play by playing Stanford in the conference quarterfinals.
Looking to avenge its previous loss to the Cardinal, luckily, the Wildcats were up to the challenge as they scored 95 points on 63.8 percent from the field including 9-19 (47.4) from three.
Arizona was led by the trio of Oumar Ballo, Cedric Henderson, and Azuolas Tubelis, who found their rhythm in this one by scoring 24, 23, and 20 points respectively.
Courtney Ramey added with 15 points and an assist and a steal on 5-9 shooting (4-8 from three), meanwhile, Pelle Larsson added with nine points off the bench.
Despite Stanford hanging tough, No. 8 Arizona Basketball was able to close out the game and come away with a much-needed win.
Needing the energy from the tip, unfortunately, Arizona had a challenge on its hands as the Cardinal opened the game outscoring Arizona 8-2 after the first few minutes of play.
Luckily, Arizona would start to battle as they began to find its offensive rhythm in the first half, responding with a 15-2 run to lead 17-10 with 12:34 to play.
Unfortunately, Stanford would hang tough, continuing to bring the pressure and match pace with the Cats even pulling ahead 32-31.
Arizona would respond again, this time answering with a 16-12 run to push their lead to four at halftime.
Things would get a little scary for Arizona in the first half too, especially as Kerr Kriisa would get tied up on a screen, tweaking his shoulder. Luckily, he would come back in the second half, but the shoulder injury is a bit concerning.
Looking to put Stanford away in the second half, the three ball would keep the Cardinal alive, especially as they pulled ahead 59-56 with 15:56 to play.
But after responding with a 6-2 run to pull ahead 62-61, Arizona would not look back, weathering each Stanford run to eventually pull ahead by as many as 14 in the second half.
Luckily, Arizona held tough in the end, hanging on to beat Stanford by a 95-84 final!
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 26-6 (14-6) on the season and will resume basketball action on Friday for a big challenge against Arizona State in the Conference Semi-Finals. You will need to brew your coffee for this one as Tip-off against the Sun Devils is set for 9:30 PM MST!