No. 17 Arizona overpowers Sacramento State 105-59
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Azoulas Tubelis scored 22 points, Christian Koloko added 20 before leaving with an ankle injury and No. 17 Arizona routed Sacramento State 105-59 Saturday night.
The Wildcats (6-0) had a huge size advantage and exploited it, overpowering the Hornets by 29 points in the paint. Arizona had 31 assists on 38 field goals, including nine by Kerr Kriisa, and shot 55% to avoid a letdown after beating Michigan earlier this week.
Koloko also had seven rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot but left early in the second half with a sprained ankle.
Sacramento State (3-3) fell into a big hole early and never recovered, losing its second lopsided game to a Pac-12 opponent this season. Cameron Wilbon had 14 points to lead the Hornets, who shot 36%.
Arizona opened the season with three straight blowouts and survived a tough game against Wichita State in Las Vegas. The Wildcats picked up a marquee win in Sin City last Sunday, dominating then No. 4 Michigan 80-62, which moved Arizona into the Top 25 for the first time this season.
Sac State has had an up-and-down start to the season, starting with coach Brian Katz's abrupt retirement for health reasons just before it started. The Hornets lost by 25 to Utah and 15 to UC San Diego, but picked up a win over rival UC Davis in their last game.
Sac State had never beaten a ranked opponent in 15 tries since joining Division I in 1991, so it was going to be a tough climb Saturday.
Koloko had two early alley-oop dunks as Arizona opened the game on a 16-5 run and the Wildcats kept running from there. In the first half, Tubelis had 17 points, Koloko 10 and the Wildcats shot 19 of 38 to lead 47-22 at halftime.
Koloko opened the second half by blocking a shot on an alley-oop dunk attempt and put down one of his own after a steal. Arizona scored the first 10 points to go up 57-22. Koloko limped off soon after that, but the Wildcats went on a 15-2 run to go up 88-42.
Sac State: The experience of playing Arizona on the road should help the Hornets once Big Sky play rolls around.
Arizona: Didn't suffer a letdown after its big win against Michigan, dominating the Hornets at both ends.
Sac State: Hosts Montana on Thursday.
Arizona: Starts Pac-12 play Thursday at home against Washington.
Sacramento State head coach Brandon Laird
On positives they will take away from this game…
"Good opportunity to compete and measure ourselves against one of the best teams in the country. I think the positives are what we will learn from this and how we can grow."
On what Arizona did to make it difficult for them…
"They did a great job defensively of pressuring and challenging us. Offensively, their speed, tempo, and size were too much for us. They were attacking really hard."
- The 105 points scored by Arizona are the most in a regulation game since dropping 106 against Washington on Jan. 29, 2009.
- The 105 points are the most in any game since Feb. 5, 2011 when they scored 107 in a 3OT win against California.
- The 38 made field goals are the most by an Arizona team since connecting on 42 against The Citadel on Nov. 23, 2016.
- The 11 steals for UA are a season-high and the most since recording 13 against Washington State on March 10, 2021
- Arizona handed out 31 assists on 38 made field goals in the game. The 31 assists are the most since having 31 against Arizona State on Jan. 15, 1998.
- For the fourth time in six games, Arizona shot over 50% from the floor (54.3%)
- Kim Aiken Jr. finished with a season-high 10 points, six rebounds and a career-high six assists
- Oumar Ballo played 21 minutes and tallied seven points, five rebounds, a career high three blocked shots and matched his career high with two assists.
- Kerr Kriisa dished out nine assists in the game to set a new career high.
- Pelle Larsson set a new career high with 17 points and matched his career best with three made triples.
- Shane Nowell came off the bench to set a new season high with four points
- Justin Kier scored 11 points – his second game in double figures this season – and added four assists (zero turnovers). His career point total now stands at 1,404 in 139 games. His 139 games played are the third-most among active players in NCAA Division I.
- Azuolas Tubelis finished with 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting and added three assists. It's his second 20-point game this season and fourth of his career.
- Christian Koloko was 8 of 10 from the field and finished with 20 points, his second consecutive game of 20+ points. Entering this season, Koloko had scored in double figures just twice. This season, he has scored 13 or more points in five of six games.