Arizona holds off challenge from Cardinal 84-80

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Arizona Wildcats Christian Koloko is jubilant over the success of the Wildcats in their win over the Stanford Cardinal at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Thu Mar 10, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament (AP News photo)

Stanford gave top-seed Arizona all it could handle in Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 2-ranked Wildcats held off an inspired Cardinal team to win 84-80.

Christian Koloko topped the U of A scoring with 24 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists, followed by Bennedict Mathurin with 20 points and seven rebounds, as the Wildcats (29-3) struggled with Stanford for the second time this season before prevailing, Azuolas Tubelis added seven rebounds and five assists, and point guard Kerr Kriisa had 10 points and five assists before leaving with an injury in the final minute.

The nine-seed Cardinal opened the tournament with a last-second win over Arizona State on Wednesday and opened Thursday’s game with a barrage of 3-pointers, going 11 for 20 behind the arc while shooting 54 percent against the league’s top defense.

Spencer Jones bagged a game-high 28 points – 13 in the first half – followed by Harrison Ingram with 16. Jones was 12 of 18 overall from the field, including 4 of 7 3-pointers. Ingram and Michael O’Connell (11 points) each had four assists.

Arizona led 49-37 at halftime and outscored the Cardinal 44-43 in the final 20 minutes. The Cardinal were 6 of 8 behind the arc in the first half and never allowed the Wildcats to build a big lead.

Down the stretch, Arizona took an 82-77 lead on a Koloko dunk, but the Cardinal (16-16) responded with a 3-pointer by Ingram, cutting Stanford’s deficit to 82-80 with 13 seconds remaining, The Cardinal fouled Pelle Larsson, who made a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds to play, accounting for the final score.

The Wildcats will face Colorado in the semifinals, while Stanford awaits a possible postseason invite to a tournament other than the Big Dance.

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal no match for No.2 Arizona in 89-61 loss; Cal moves onto Pac 12 Tournament Wednesday

Cal Bears Jordan Shepherd led Cal in scoring last Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats with 16 points. Cal will be dependent on Shepherd’s offense as the Bears face the Washington State Cougars Wed Mar 9, 2022 at the Pac 12 Tournament. ( file photo by Sports Illustrated)

On the Cal podcast with Morris:

#1 Anytime you know your going to face the Arizona Wildcats (28-3) you know you have your work cut out for you such was the case in Saturday’s 89-61drilling of the basket by the Wildcats who threw up 62% of their shots from the floor against the Cal Bears (12-19).

#2 The Wildcats didn’t show any ware at all after playing five games in ten days in an almost NBA type schedule the Wildcats have won nine of their last ten games.

#3 But what may have been most impressive was the Cats put up 89 points despite having to deal with Cal’s plodding pace, and a couple of impressive, but short-lived stretches of play by the Bears.

#4 Oumar Ballo, the transfer from No. 1 Gonzaga, led the Cats with 16 points on 7 for 7 shooting from the floor. Ballo was the biggest piece of Arizona’s octet of reserves that combined to shoot 18 of 24 from the floor and 7 for 7 from the foul line.

#5 Next up for Cal the Washington State Cougars (18-13) to open the Pac 12 Tournament who have won five of their last six games and also defeated the Oregon Ducks (18-13) by 20, 94-74 at Washington State on Saturday. This will be game one for Cal at the Pac 12 Tournament on Wednesday.

Join Morris Phillips for the Cal Bears podcasts Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Pac-12 champion No. 2 Arizona defeats Stanford 81-69

Stanford guard Michael O’Connell (5) drives on Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin at McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Thu Mar 3, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Fresh off clinching the Pac-12 regular season title, No. 2 Arizona returned home to McKale Center in Tucson and held off inspired Stanford 81-69 in men’s basketball Thursday.

Bennedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 24 points, followed by Christian Koloko with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as U of A (27-3 overall, 17-2 Pac-12) remained undefeated at home in its first season under Coach Tommy Lloyd. Kerr Kriisa added seven assists and Azuolas Tubelis chipped in with 11 points.

Arizona also clinched its first conference championship in four years.

After defeating No. 16 Southern California on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Arizona came out sluggish against the Cardinal (15-14 overall, 8-11 Pac-12), shooting poorly while Stanford built a nine-point lead in the first half, eventually whittled down to a 39-37 Cardinal lead at halftime. Stanford made more baskets in the first half (12) than they did in their entire loss to California.

But the Wildcats pulled away after the intermission, outscoring the Cardinal 44-30, as Stanford’s late-season tailspin continued with its sixth loss in seven games. Mathurin had a personal 8-0 run against the Cardinal to open the second half that put U of A up 67-58.

Arizona stayed close by making 16 points off 11 Cardinal turnovers. Things didn’t go much better for Stanford in the second half, making 3 of 9 from 3-point range while finishing the game with 17 turnovers.

Spencer Jones led the Cardinal with 22 points, followed by Michael O’Connell with 16 points – all scored in the first half. Maxime Raynaud added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Harrison Ingram led the Cardinal with nine boards.

Stanford made 15 of 28 in the first 20 minutes, including 7 of 10 behind the arc.\

Stanford finishes the regular season in Tempe on Saturday, visiting Arizona State.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Cal hopes to put an end to five game losing streak at UCLA tonight

Arizona guard Dalen Terry (4) shoots a 3-pointer over California forward Grant Anticevich (15) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Sun Jan 23, 2022 (AP News photo)

On Cal Bears basketball podcast:

#1 Cal Bears (9-10) are on a five game skid and fell behind the eight ball in their last game against the Arizona Wildcats (16-2) last Sunday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley in a 96-71 loss.

#2 Cal couldn’t get past Arizona all game long and they pulled it off without one of their top scorers Azuolas Tubelis who was out with a upper body injury. The Wildcats got top scoring from Christian Koloko with 19 points.

#3 The Bears Jordan Shepherd led Cal with 21 points the only Cal player to score in double figures.

#4 Michael, talk about Cal head coach Mark Fox he tries to set the offense as all but Shepherd were in single figures what can coach Fox do to spruce things up on the offense?

#5 Cal opens up a two game Southland series starting on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion against UCLA (14-2). The Bruins are going well as they beat the Wildcats on Tuesday 75-59 in a game that wasn’t even close. The Bruins beat the Bears the last time the two teams met on Jan 8th in an eight point win 60-52.

Join Michael for the Cal podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears in the Southland on Thursday to face tough nemesis UCLA; Cal looking to end 5 game skid

Arizona Wildcats guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) Arizona’s leading scorer with guard Kerr Kriisa (25) share a handshake at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley defeating the Cal Bears on Sun Jan 23, 2022 (photo from the Arizona Wildcats)

On the Cal basketball podcast:

#1 Morris from wire to wire the Arizona Wildcats (16-1) were just having their way with the basketball and the Cal Bears (9-10) for a 96-71 win. On offense Benedict Mathurin led the Wildcats in scoring. Mathurin like most of his teammate was getting some nice chances today.

#2 On the Cal defense frustrating getting them to stop the Wildcats inside game hence the kind of success led by Mathurin getting his way on many of his shots.

#3 Morris during the game you mentioned Jordan Shepherd had a tough time getting out of the gate he eventually led Cal in scoring but for most of the game was the only player in double figures.

#4 Morris, talk a little bit about the Cal offense try as hard as they may guys like Andre Kelly and Joel Brown were in single digits for most of the game and Arizona knew about guys like these to shut their game down.

#5 Cal head coach Mark Fox got a pair of technicals and ejected from the game talk about the ejection and how much that impacted Cal’s game.

#6 It’s back to the drawing board for Cal as it’s onto the Southland and the UCLA Bruins (13-2) on Thu Jan 27th at Pauley Pavilion. The last time Cal faced the Bruins in Berkeley on Jan 8th the Bruins were the clear winners 60-52. After getting a dose of the Wildcats on Sunday can Cal come back and make a game of it on Thursday night?

Join Morris Phillips for the Cal Bears basketball podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Daniel Dullum: Arizona is just an unstoppable school; Stanford crushed by Wildcats 85-57

Arizona guard Dalen Terry (4) pushes the drive to the basket against Stanford forward Brandon Angel (23) at Maple Pavilion Thu Jan 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Cardinal podcast with Daniel:

#1 Daniel, there was very little doubt that the Stanford Cardinal (10-6) were going to expect trouble out of the visiting Arizona Wildcats (15-1) at Maples Pavilion on Thursday night in a crushing 85-57 defeat.

#2 Daniel talk about the Wildcats leading scorer Oumar Ballo who was balling against the Cardinal with a team leading 21 points.

#3 After scoring a team high Arizona guard Azuolas Tubelis who had 32 points against the Utah Utes last Saturday got shutdown by the Cardinal allowing Tubelis with only four points but five other Wildcat players got into double figures.

#4 The loss is Stanford’s second in a row they lost to the Washington Huskies (8-7) and the Thursday night loss to the Wildcats. Should these two consecutive loses be cause of concern for Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase?

#5 Arizona State (6-9) has lost three of their last four games but won their last game they have played defeating Utah (8-10) by two points on Monday 64-62. ASU comes calling at Stanford this Sat Jan 22 for an 8:00 pm PST tip. Tell us how you see this match up?

Join Daniel for the Stanford Cardinal basketball podcasts Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

No. 3 Arizona dominates cold-shooting Cardinal 85-57

Arizona center Oumar Ballo (11) is fouled by Stanford forward Brandon Angel, top, at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto on Thu Jan 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, January 20, 2022

Arizona lived up to its billing as the No. 3 men’s basketball team in the nation on Thursday, routing Stanford 85-57 in Pac-12 play at Maples Pavilion.

Oumar Ballo, a transfer from Gonzaga, was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 21 points, hitting 7 of 8 field goals and 7 of 9 free throws. Ballo also had six rebounds and two blocks.

Pelle Larsson and Bennedict Mathurin scored 13 points each for the Wildcats, followed by Justin Kier with 11 points, and Dalen Terry with 10 points and nine boards. Kerr Kriisa finished with seven assists, and Larsson had six assists.

Spencer Jones and Maxime Raynaud each scored nine points to lead Stanford (10-6 overall, 3-3 Pac-12), with Jaiden Delaire and Michael O’Connell next with eight points apiece. Harrison Ingram was the Cardinal’s top rebounder with seven.

The Wildcats (15-1 overall, 5-0 Pac-12) used a 16-5 run in the first 10 minutes of the first half to pull away early, as Arizona eventually built a 42-31 halftime lead.

At 13:41 of the second half, Ballo made a free throw to cap an 18-5 run by Arizona to open the second half and pull away for good.

While Arizona shot 55 percent (31 of 56), the Cardinal hit only 30 percent (21 of 70) from the field. Stanford, which was 8 of 15 on free throws, outrebounded the Wildcats 41-31. Arizona forced 17 Cardinal turnovers, and the Wildcats bench outscored Stanford’s 45-26.

The Cardinal host Arizona State on Saturday at 8 p.m. PST.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Cal hopes to put an end to four game losing streak Sunday against Arizona

The Cal Bears will really have to be on their A game on Sun Jan 23, 2022 against the Arizona Wildcats at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley and Wildcats’ Azuolas Tubelis their leading scorer (Arizona Sports file photo)

On the Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael it’s a tall order game’s at home at Haas Cal Bears (9-9) are coming off a four game losing streak and host one of the Pac 12’s hottest teams the Arizona Wildcats (14-1) No.2 ranked in the nation on Sunday at noon.

#2 In preparation of the game Cal head coach Mark Fox will be pushing what are some of the things that he’ll need to push against Arizona?

#3 Arizona in their last game crushed the Utah Utes (8-9) 82-64 the Wildcats have been getting great offense help from leading scorer Azuolas Tubelis who scored 32 points to Arizona to the win over the Utes.

#4 Cal will be really leaning on their key offensive scorers in this one Grant Anticevich, Jordan Shepherd and Andre Kelly can they help against the rugged Arizona defense?

#5 All week long it’s been Arizona this and Wildcats that and Cal virtually has been left out of the conversation is there any chance the Bears can change that momentum on Sunday?

Join Michael for the Cal basketball podcasts Thursdays and Morris Phillips Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: After four straight loses Cal faces one of the Pac 12’s toughest teams in Arizona Sunday

California forward Lars Thiemann (21) and Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye (35) go for the ball in Sat Jan 15, 2022 contest at Pullman (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris after winning five in a row the Cal Bears (9-9) has now lost four in a row what’s been the difference in the change?

#2 How tough has it got to be for the Bears after losing the two games to USC (14-2) and UCLA (11-2) and then losing twice again to Washington and Washington State Cal head coach Mark Fox works hard to prepare this team.

#3 Looking at Cal’s last game in Pullman 65-57 against the Washington State Cougars (10-7) on Saturday night the Bears had the lead after the half but couldn’t hold it were the Bears just pressing too much in second half?

#4 We know you mentioned it in your recap that Cal guard Joel Brown who just got out of Covid 19 protocols after a seven day quarantine got to Pullman from Berkeley on a flight and played just a minute. After being away that amount of time from playing did Brown come into the game pretty rusty?

#5 Cal now will host one of the toughest teams in the Pac 12 the Arizona Wildcats (14-1) at Haas Pavilion on Sun Jan 23rd for a noon tip. The Wildcats just manhandled their last opponents the Utah Utes (8-9) in Tucson 82-64. How do you see the Bears approach to fending off the Wildcats this Sunday?

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears Football podcast with Daniel Dullum: Cal-USC postponement gives Bears a week to prepare for Stanford

Cal Bears head coach Justin Wilcox stands on the sidelines with his players against the Oregon State Beavers on Sat Oct 30, 2021photo. Wilcox said the team followed all the Covid 19 protocols but nonetheless Sat Nov 13, 2021 game against USC has been postponed to Dec 4, 2021 (AP News file photo)

On the Cal Bears Football podcast with Daniel:

#1 Whose dumbfounded the most in the Cal Bears (3-6) Covid 19 situation head coach Justin Wilcox who said the team followed protocols or the other head scratcher how did the team contract Covid 19 that forced them to postpone this Saturday’s game with USC (4-5).

#2 Either way Daniel the Bears get a week off after that grueling game in Tucson where Cal quarterback Ryan Glover just couldn’t get any offensive traction going against the struggling Arizona Wildcats (1-8).

#3 The key thing in the game against the Wildcats the Bears who were missing over 24 players due to Covid 19 protocols coach Wilcox had a rough time getting second stringers, practice squad players and back up to jell in what some would call a thrown together situation.

#4 How important will this week be for the Bears to regroup from last week’s loss in Arizona get a week off and prepare for the Big Game against the Stanford Cardinal (3-6) at Stanford Stadium next Sat Nov 13. The Cardinal are coming off that horrendous loss to the Utah Utes (6-3) 57-7 and are looking for a better game. How do you see the Bears and Cardinal matching up next week?

#5 Lastly Cal quarterback Chase Garbers will have had two weeks off the first week against Arizona where he sat out for Covid 19 protocols and this Saturday for the same reasons. Enough time to recover from the Covid issues and start throwing the rock in preparation against the Cardinal.

Join Daniel for Cal Bears football podcasts every Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com