No. 6 Arizona pulls away in 2nd half, tops Washington 95-72
SEATTLE (AP) — That looked a little more how No. 6 Arizona wants to play with the combo of Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo dominating on the interior and Kerr Kriisa knocking down shots from the perimeter.
Tubelis had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Ballo added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Arizona used a big second-half run to pull away for a 95-72 win over Washington on Saturday.
The Wildcats (19-3, 8-3 Pac-12) won their fourth straight and picked up their first road sweep in conference play this season. Arizona also won for the eighth time in its last nine trips to Seattle, each of the past three victories by 20 points or more.
“We haven’t had many games like this this year, so it felt good to come out and do it," Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “But Washington as a team, I have a ton of respect for. I was expecting this game to go down to the last four minutes, but fortunately, we kind of made a little run and threw some haymakers at them and kind of staggered them a little bit.”
Tubelis topped 20 points for the first time in five games and his rebound putback while being fouled with 4:29 remaining gave the Wildcats a 78-63 lead and sent Washington fans headed for the exits.
Kriisa added 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and Courtney Ramey scored 14. And for at least one day, the Wildcats showed flashes of their potent offensive punch from earlier in the season.
Arizona topped 80 points in 11 of its first 13 games, but had reached that mark just twice since starting the bulk of conference play around the first of the year.
“It shows that we can win in different ways and it shows our team, I don't know if (it's) grittiness, but it kind of shows we can throw us some kind of game and we have to find our way how to win,” Kriisa said.
Keion Brooks Jr. led Washington with 25 points and Keyon Menifield added 21. But the Huskies (13-10, 5-7) suffered from too many scoring droughts and didn’t have an answer for Arizona’s 19-1 run in the early stages of the second half.
Washington led by nine early in the first half, but was overmatched at the defensive end during Arizona's second-half surge, whether the Huskies were going zone or man-to-man.
“We couldn’t stop them. In the second half they scored 57 points. That’s not the recipe,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said.
Arizona’s scoring run was a wave of contributions, but was punctuated by key 3-pointers. Tubelis and Ballo scored baskets on the interior, and it was a pair of 3s from Kriisa and Ramey’s first made basket of the game — also a 3 — that helped the Wildcats push the lead to 53-44 with 13:33 remaining.
After a Washington timeout, the Huskies committed a turnover and Kriisa and Ramey again connected from deep. Tubelis finally capped the run with a layup, giving the Wildcats a 61-45 lead with 11:25 remaining.
Arizona led by as many as 26 points in the closing minutes after escaping with a 70-67 win over the Huskies in Tucson earlier this month.
“I think our guys settled in offensively a little bit today,” Lloyd said. “Last game we played these guys, we didn’t really do a good job attacking the zone and we turned the ball over, so you shore up those two things you give yourself a better chance.”
Arizona: The Wildcats rediscovered their offensive potency after being held under 65 points in its past two games. Both of those were close victories over UCLA and Washington State, but the Wildcats shot 52% for the game and the 95 points were a season-high in conference play.
Washington: The Huskies lost their 15th straight to ranked opponents and have not knocked off a team ranked in the AP Top 25 since defeating Baylor early in the 2019-20 season.
Arizona: Hosts Oregon next Thursday.
Washington: At UCLA next Thursday.
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