No. 4 Arizona Basketball uses strong first half, cruises against Cal

Dec 29, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Keshad Johnson (16) dunks against
Dec 29, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Keshad Johnson (16) dunks against / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

BERKELEY, CA – Jumping out to a hot start, No. 4 Arizona Basketball (10-2, 1-0) began its conference farewell tour with a 100-81 win over Cal (4-7, 0-1).

Beginning its conference farewell tour on Friday evening, No. 4 Arizona Basketball was inside Haas Pavilion to take on the Cal Golden Bears.

Coming in with a significant talent advantage, Arizona sure looked like the dominant team to start, especially as they entered halftime with a lopsided, 54-26 lead over the host Bears.

Despite Arizona taking things easy in the second half and Cal making this one a bit closer than it actually was, the Wildcats cruised to the convincing, 100-81 win.

Arizona would have three starters finish in double-figures in this one with Caleb Love leading the way with 22 points on 7-10 shooting (3-3 from three). 

Behind him was a solid effort from the Wildcats' bench. Seeing their most action in quite some time, Arizona's bench finished the game with a combined 39 points. Freshman big man Motiejus Krivas finished with a career-high 18 points on 6-7 shooting.

Leading by 28 at the half, No. 4 Arizona Basketball cruised to the 19-point win over Cal to kick off its Pac-12 farewell tour.

Playing in what was essentially its first "tune-up" game in quite some time, Arizona Basketball returned to the hardwood as they began conference play on Friday evening.

Traveling to the Bay Area for the last time as a Pac-12 Conference member, Arizona took on an inferior Cal team, and from the start, the Wildcats looked like the dominant team. Jumping out to an early, 26-5 lead after eight-plus minutes of play, it was clear Arizona wasn't here to play around.

Leading comfortably, Arizona would continue to attack the Golden Bears, dominating the game on both ends of the floor as they built as much as a 31-point lead in the first half.

Arizona's dominance in the first half would continue too, especially as the Wildcats entered halftime with a convincing, 54-26 lead over the host Bears.

With the game seemingly in hand, Arizona would begin to ease their efforts a bit in the second half, and Cal took advantage, as they slowly climbed their way back into this one.

Unable to get within 20 of the Wildcats, Arizona would continue to pour it on Cal in the second half, even as the Golden Bears started to find a bit of an offensive rhythm and hit shots.

Outscoring Arizona 55-46 in the second half, luckily, this game was virtually already in hand for the Cats well into the first half.

Cal would end the game outscoring the Wildcats 19-12 over the final 6:07, but it wasn't nearly enough as Arizona cruised to the 100-81 win.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 10-2 on the year and 1-0 in conference play. Arizona will resume basketball action on Sunday when they take on the Stanford Cardinal.

Tip-off on Sunday against the Cardinal is set for 2:00 PM MST and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

Next. No. 14 Arizona Football rallies against No. 12 Oklahoma in Alamo Bowl win. No. 14 Arizona Football rallies against No. 12 Oklahoma in Alamo Bowl win. dark

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