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MENS BASKETBALL


Arizona 92, Utah 73

Arizona 92, Utah 73

BY JOHN MARSHALLAP
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TUCSON, Ariz. - Caleb Love scored 15 of his 23 points during a decisive second-half stretch, Keshad Johnson added 20 points and No. 10 Arizona ran away from Utah for a 92-73 win.

The Wildcats (12-3, 3-1 Pac-12) shot well in the first half, but were careless with the ball. Arizona took control early in the second half with a massive run.

Love triggered the Wildcats' second-half dominance, scoring 15 points in the opening 11 minutes as the Wildcats stretched the lead to 17.

Arizona dominated the nation's second-tallest team inside, grabbing 18 more rebounds and outscoring the Utes 50-26 in the paint while shooting 60% from the floor.

The Utes (11-2, 2-2) kept Arizona within reach in the first half by hitting seven 3-pointers, but cooled off and had a second straight shaky defensive performance to remain winless at McKale Center since 1986.

Gabe Madsen had 18 points for Utah, which shot 3 of 17 from 3 in the second half.

The Utes had an eight-game winning streak end at Arizona State on Thursday by turning it over 15 times while giving up 12 3-pointers in the 82-70 loss.

The Utes had a much better offensive flow in the first half against Arizona and kept the Wildcats in reach by going 7 for 18 from 3-point range. Madsen hit four 3s and had 12 points by halftime.

Arizona leaned on Johnson early in the first half and Kylan Boswell late. They combined for 21 points and the Wildcats hit 16 of 26 shots to lead 42-39 at halftime despite nine turnovers.

Arizona took over early in the second half, bringing the crowd to its feet with a 15-2 run. Love had a tomahawk dunk after nearly losing the ball, followed with a long 3. Jaden Bradley capped the run with a layup after stealing the inbounds pass.

Utah had a scoreless stretch of more than four minutes during Arizona's run, then Love hit consecutive 3-pointers and a step-back jumper to stretch Arizona's lead to 69-52.

THE TAKEAWAY

Utah: The Utes have plenty of length and are usually an efficient offensive team. Two lackluster losses in the desert showed they still have plenty of work to do on offense.

Arizona: The Wildcats have proven to be tough to stop once they get rolling, particularly at McKale Center. They certainly did against Utah, blowing open a close game by hitting 22 of 37 shots in the second half.


January 6, 2024





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