The Arizona schools took on the mountain schools this week in hoops and it went as expected for the Arizona Wildcats as they took down the Utah Utes and Colorado Buffaloes. The Utes had no answer for Dusan Ristic as he tallied 18 points and 8 rebounds on 7 of 10 from the field in a 66-56 Wildcats victory. Arizona successfully swept their homestand with the mountain schools by defeating Colorado 82-73. Lauri Markkanen paced the Cats with 22 points and 6 rebounds on 6 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 5 from downtown. Ristic added 17 points and 8 rebounds on 7 of 15 shooting. Kadeem Allen was also a huge problem for the Buffs’ defense as he notched 18 points on just 6 shots, thanks in large part to going 3 of 3 from deep and 9 of 11 from the stripe. Colorado’s Xavier Johnson had a huge game scoring, but it wasn’t enough to secure the upset.
Arizona’s rivals, the Arizona State Sun Devils, stole a last-second victory at home against Colorado by way of Tra Holder’s two made free throws with 1.6 seconds left in the game. Derrick White of Colorado notched 35 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and one steal in a monster performance which was ultimately in vein. The Sun Devils next took on Utah and held a halftime lead, but surrendered 54 second half points en-route to losing 88-82. Utah’s Kyle Kuzma, David Collette, Jojo Zamora, and Devon Daniels contributed 77 of the team’s 88 points on 31 of 46 from the field.
Next up we head to the Pacific Northwest as the Oregon schools faced-off against the Washington schools. The Oregon Ducks were looking to keep pace with Arizona and they did just that by dominating the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars 83-61 and 85-66 respectively. Tyler Dorsey notched 28 points on 9 of 15 from the field (8-12 from three) to lead the Ducks to the win against Washington as Oregon shot 53.8 percent from the field. Washington’s David Crisp and Markelle Fultz combined to score 36 points in the loss. The Ducks then traveled to Washington State and found themselves tied at halftime before exploding for 48 points in the second half to win by 19. Chris Boucher and Dylan Ennis led the way for the Ducks as the former scored 29 points with 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks on 11 of 15 from the field. Ennis added 17 points and 7 assists on 4 of 6 from range.
The Oregon State Beavers were not as successful as their nemesis, though, as they suffered a sweep. The Beavers lost 75-62 to Washington State as the only thing they did well in this game was shoot from distance, but it was not enough to make the difference against Washington State’s efficiency on two-point field goals and free throws. Drew Eubanks and Jaquori McLaughlin combined for 38 points in their lopsided 87-61 loss to Washington, who were led by Fultz’s 20 points and Carlos Johnson’s 15 bench points in 17 minutes.
In the last remaining Pac-12 grouping the Bay Area schools traveled south for a meeting with the Los Angeles schools. The California Golden Bears’ furious second half rally fell short in an 81-71 loss to the highly-ranked UCLA Bruins. Ivan Rabb’s 17 points and 20 rebounds were a bright spot, along with Mullins’ hot shooting and Don Coleman’s bench scoring, but the Bears couldn’t stop Bryce Alford (24 points) or TJ Leaf (18 points and 11 rebounds). Rabb’s last second block sealed an important 74-73 victory over the USC Trojans, though, to end the week on a bright spot with a much-needed win against a ranked opponent. USC’s Chimezie Metu scored 20 points on 9 of 15 from the field, while Jordan McLaughlin added a further 20 points. The Bears were led by Rabb’s 17 points and 8 rebounds along with Charlie Moore’s 16 points on 6 of 8 from the field.
The Stanford Cardinal had a rougher go of things in Los Angles as they slipped to two defeats. They struggled mightily in a 72-56 loss to UCLA as they shot just 36 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range. USC didn’t play much better, but they did make 84 percent of their free throws in what was an ugly game featuring a combined 39 turnovers. The Cardinal offense showed up against UCLA but they had no chance at stopping the Bruins in an 89-75 loss. Michael Humphrey tried his best to will the Cardinal to an upset with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Lonzo Ball led the Bruins with 21 points and 8 assists, while Leaf notched a double-double. Alford added 17 points on 4 of 5 from deep.
Arizona and Oregon are 4-0 on top of the standings. UCLA is one game behind at 3-1, while Utah and Washington State are 2-1. USC, Cal, and Arizona State are 2-2, while Washington is 1-2. Meanwhile, Colorado (0-3), Stanford (0-4), and Oregon State (0-4) remain winless in conference play.
Arizona State at Arizona, January 12 on ESPN 2
UCLA at Colorado, January 12 on Fox Sports 1
USC at Utah, January 12 on Pac-12 Network
Washington at California, January 12 on Fox Sports 1
Washington State at Stanford, January 12 on Pac-12 Network
Oregon State at Oregon, January 14 on Pac-12 Network
UCLA at Utah, January 14 on Pac-12 Network
Washington State at California, January 14 on Pac-12 Network
Washington at Stanford, January 14 on Pac-12 Network
USC at Colorado, January 15 on ESPNU