The Devils most certainly didn't make it easy for the Wildcats, as this was a highly entertaining, fast-paced affair. Neither team could miss early as Arizona was able to get everything they wanted in the paint, and Arizona State made several quick threes. ASU's sharpshooting from deep got them out to a 28-19 lead early on.
After that, though, the game took a turn. Led by the return of Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona went on a 14-0 run to take the lead. The Sun Devils shooting slowed to a halt and Arizona closed out the first half on a 22-7 run, to take a 41-35 lead into the break.
The second half was much of the same, as Arizona's defense tightened up and the offense attacked the basket. Gabe York nailed three shots from beyond the arc in a two and a half minute span, and Arizona appeared to be running away with the game. They led by 16 with just over five minutes remaining.
The Sun Devils refused to go away late, cutting the lead to as little as six. Then things got chippy, as Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, making his debut in the Arizona-Arizona State rivalry, got ejected after two late technical fouls in the span of fifteen seconds.
Gabe York led the way for Arizona with 22 points, capitalizing on a lot of late free throws, but also adding in six assists and five rebounds. Ryan Anderson was quiet and had three of the team's eight turnovers, but he ended up with his 7th (and 4th consecutive) double-double on the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
A few notes from the game...
- Allonzo Trier is going to be an offensive nightmare for all Pac-12 foes. His efficiency continues to amaze, as he finished with 20 points on ten shots. When he attacks the basket, very good things happen for Arizona.
- Dusan Ristic's post game can be flat out frightening. He showed off footwork and finished with both hands on multiple occasions. With the return of Kaleb Tarczewski, it's going to be very fun to see how defenses try to stop the two big men in the middle.
- Arizona scored over 80 for the sixth-straight game. This is the first time Arizona has scored 80 or more in six straight since the first six games of Lute Olson's final season at Arizona (2006-07).
- The Bobby Hurley era will be very interesting for Arizona-Arizona State. He brings a fire to his team that was missing while Herb Sendek was at the helm, as evidenced by his late ejection that bordered on a temper tantrum. The rivalry has a whole new layer to it and, as a basketball fan, it should be very fun to watch.
Arizona starts off the Pac-12 season with a win, improving to 13-1 overall. Next up: A date with the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night in Pauley Pavilion.