You know that feeling when you’re at your local playground, and a group of huge, athletic guys comes up to challenge you to a game, and you get run off the floor in a way where you don’t go back to that court ever again in your life?
Well, that happened to the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday.
The Arizona Wildcats showed up in Palo Alto looking for the Bay Area sweep, and they got it quite handily, taking the game by a score of 91-52. It also means that Sean Miller improves to 13-0 all-time against the Cardinal as a head coach, and the Wildcats have won the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
Stanford’s defense struggled, and Arizona was able to take advantage, putting up some gaudy numbers on the offensive end to improve to 2-0 in Pac-12 play and 13-2 overall this year.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the contest:
In the middle part of the first half, the game had a really funky flow to it, and it didn’t feel like either offense was really clicking, but the scoreboard didn’t necessarily reflect that. And Arizona’s shooting efficiency explained it away.
For their first 30 points of the game, the Wildcats needed just 13 field goal attempts. At the time, they were a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, and were perfect from the free throw line as well.
It continued for the rest of the half, as Arizona went to the locker room with 49 points on just 24 shots.
The poster boy was Lauri Markkanen. The Finnisher had 15 points on just four field goal attempts. Arizona scored its 91 points on just 48 field goal attempts, and was 10-of-14 from three.
Ristic the Early Riser
In a majority of their games, the Wildcats have gone to Dusan Ristic early and often, and it usually pays off in a big way.
Sunday was no different.
Dusan had eight points in the first four minutes of the game, and then did not score again in the first half.
Ristic got involved again at the beginning of the second half, adding six points to his total before the first media timeout. He finished with 16 points and four rebounds, but it’s that early tone he sets that allows this team to get off to good starts in both halves.
When he came out for a short time in the first half, Stanford did climb back into it, taking advantage of Chance Comanche a couple of times. But the Wildcat frontcourt settled down in the latter part of the first half, holding Stanford to just ten rebounds at the break compared to Arizona’s 14. The Cats ended up outrebounding Stanford 38-24 in this one.
Nice shot buddy
The Wildcats were a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line in the first half, and followed that up with a 9-of-11 second half. This is what allowed the Wildcats to win some of those non-conference games with relative ease, and if this team can get to the line at will in Pac-12 play, that makes them an even bigger threat to beat out Oregon or UCLA for the regular season title and the one-seed in Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament.
With how efficient the offense was, it’s not totally surprising that the scoring was spread out pretty evenly amongst the Wildcats. Five of Arizona’s eight rotation players scored at least 13 points. Parker Jackson-Cartwright did not score any points in this one, but had six assists and three turnovers. Kadeem Allen and Keanu Pinder were the other two players that didn’t reach the 13 point plateau.
We even got walk-on points when Kory Jones banked in a three in the final minute. Everything is awesome.
Double-Double Comanche Style
For the first time in his college career, Comanche put up a double-double, adding ten rebounds to his 13 points. That’s two solid games from him in the past three contests, so maybe we’re starting to see him turn the corner a little bit.
Arizona opens home conference play on Thursday when the Utah Utes travel to McKale Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 PM MT, and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.