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GAMEDAY Mens Basketball

Arizona 75, Tennessee 70

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. - Azuolas Tubelis scored 19 points, Oumar Ballo added 18 and No. 9 Arizona turned the physical tables on No. 6 Tennessee for a 75-70 victory.

The Wildcats (10-1) did well to withstand the Vols' defensive pressure and applied a bit of their own in a game that saw bodies hitting the floor nearly every trip down the floor.

Arizona took advantage of 7-foot-1 Uros Plavsic's foul trouble by working the ball inside to Ballo and Tubelis, building a 10-point lead midway through the second half. Tennessee pushed back, but the Wildcats had the final say, making the key plays down the stretch for their third win over an AP Top 25 opponent this season.

The Vols (9-2) kept the nation's top scoring team 17 points below its average, but had trouble with Arizona's defense. Tennessee had two key second-half scoreless droughts missed 10 straight 3s after shooting well from the arc early.

Zakai Zeigler led Tennessee with 21 points and Olivier Nkamhoua added 16.

This Top 10 duel in the desert was strength vs. strength.

Tennessee arrived with the nation's best adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, among the top five in field goal percentage against, points per game, steals and turnovers forced.

Arizona's forte has been offense.

The Wildcats have the nation's best adjusted offensive efficiency, leading the nation in shooting, scoring and assists per game.

The Vols were the better offensive team early, going 5 of 5 from the 3-point arc, most on penetration and kickouts to take a seven-point lead.

Arizona starting cutting off the driving lanes - three charges - and working the ball inside to Ballo and Tubelis, using a 13-4 run to tie it at 35 by halftime.

Arizona kept up the defensive pressure to start the second half, holding Tennessee scoreless for nearly four minutes to take a 61-51 lead.

The Vols fought back with consecutive 3s after missing 10 straight to pull within two at 63-61, but had another scoreless drought, this one three minutes.

Arizona took advantage. Pelle Larsson scored on a three-point play and Ballo bulled his way to the basketball to put the Wildcats up 71-65.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee was solid defensively against the high-scoring Wildcats, but labored offensively at the wrong times to have a chance for a huge road win.

Arizona got no scoring from its bench, but the starters were good enough at both ends for an emotional home win against a top-10 opponent.

December 17, 2022


Tennessee
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
O. Nkamhoua F 29 7-12 0-0 2-4 0-4 5 0 1 1 3 16
J. Phillips F 23 0-5 2-2 0-2 0-1 1 1 1 2 2 2
U. Plavsic F 19 3-5 0-2 0-0 2-6 0 0 2 1 3 6
S. Vescovi G 36 2-12 4-4 1-7 0-2 5 0 1 1 2 9
T. Key G 34 3-10 0-0 2-7 3-3 1 0 1 3 1 8
Z. Zeigler   29 8-11 2-2 3-6 1-6 1 0 1 2 4 21
J. Aidoo   12 1-5 0-0 0-1 1-4 1 0 0 0 3 2
J. Mashack   11 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 2 2 2
T. Awaka   7 2-2 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 0 4 4
Totals   200 27-63
(.429)
8-10
(.800)
8-27
(.296)
9-30 14 1 8 12 24 70


Arizona
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
A. Tubelis F 35 7-11 5-6 0-1 4-9 1 1 1 2 2 19
O. Ballo C 30 6-10 6-7 0-0 2-8 0 2 1 3 2 18
P. Larsson G 36 4-10 9-9 0-3 2-8 4 0 0 4 1 17
K. Kriisa G 32 2-9 3-3 1-7 0-2 5 0 0 2 3 8
C. Ramey G 31 4-10 1-2 4-9 0-5 1 0 0 3 3 13
C. Henderson Jr.   13 0-2 0-0 0-2 1-3 0 0 0 1 3 0
K. Boswell   8 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 0 1 0 0 0
H. Veesaar   8 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 2 0 1 0 0 0
A. Bal   5 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Totals   198 23-54
(.426)
24-27
(.889)
5-24
(.208)
10-38 15 3 4 15 15 75
Officials: Verne Harris, John Higgins, Tony Padilla




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