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Arizona Takes Down Eastern New Mexico 96-50 in First Exhibition

Nov 1, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona Men's Basketball opened up the 2021-22 season at home against Eastern New Mexico in an exhibition game, winning by a score of 96-50. 

Sophomore Bennedict Mathurin was the leading scorer for the Cats, with a total of 18 points. Junior Christian Koloko posted a double-double in the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds while adding 2 blocks on the defensive end. 

The Wildcats had a strong offensive night with five Arizona players who posted double-digits in points. Justin Kier and Kim Aiken Jr. each posted 14 points, and Azuloas Tubelis totaled 10 points. Dalen Terry stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists in 21 minutes of action.

Arizona started off strong from behind the three, shooting 39.4% for the game. Kier led the way, shooting 4-6 for the game. Arizona also finished with 53-33 advantage in the rebounding department and dished out 24 assists on 36 made field goals.

For the game, 11 different Wildcats found the scoring column, capped off by freshman walk-on Ben Ackerley's connection from well beyond the 3-point line in the closing seconds. 

Next up, the Cats will face off against Northern Arizona in the season opener game on November 9th at 8:30 p.m. in McKale Center. Click here for tickets.


Postgame Quotes - Eastern New Mexico Head Coach Brent Owen
Q: What are some of the positives you can take away from this game?
"I thought we played really hard and that was our big goal. We wanted to play really hard, no matter what the score was we wanted to compete. I thought our guys did that. I thought we handled ourselves well in terms of attitude. We handled being down well and I thought we represented our university how we should have."

Q: What did areas did Arizona excel in that caused problem for your team?
"They were really forcing us into turnovers. That was a killer for us. The first half, they had 20 points off of turnovers and when you are giving up easy baskets off turnovers, I didn't feel like our defense in the half court was that bad in the first half, they were just forcing so many turnovers and getting easy baskets in transition. And obviously they shot the ball so well in the second half like anything they threw up was going in. If they shoot like that all year long, they'll have a lot of fun."

Q: Christian Koloko had a double-double and was a dominant force tonight, how did he effect the game and your team?
"He's so big and so strong and the coaching staff does such a good job of really getting in there and use that big body. We were very concerned how hard they duck on post-ups and I think if you got a guy with that kind of size and that kind of motor ducking in that hard, he's really going to cause a lot of problems for teams all year."