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Arizona men’s basketball blows out Sacramento State in first game as ranked team

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-recap-sacramento-hornets-koloko-tubelis-larsson-2021-recap Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images

It’s understandable if the depression caused by the football team’s loss at ASU made you temporarily forget, but Arizona has a pretty darn good men’s basketball team. And in its first game since entering the AP Top 25 it backed up that newly acquired ranking.

The 17th-ranked Wildcats obliterated Sacramento State 105-59 on Saturday evening at McKale Center, leading for all but 48 seconds in dominating on both ends of the court.

Big men Azuolas Tubelis (22) and Christian Koloko (20) combined to make 17 of 23 field goals as the UA (6-0) shot 55.1 percent from the field, hit 9 of 17 3-pointers and assisted on 31 of 38 made baskets, with Kerr Kriisa dishing out a career-best nine. The Wildcats outrebounded Sacramento State 47-24 and 54-25 in points in the paint while holding the Hornets (3-3) to 36.7 percent shooting.

Pelle Larsson had a career-high 17 points off the bench, going 6 of 7 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range, while Justin Kier had 13 and Kim Aiken Jr. added 10. The UA’s bench contributed 51 points.

Arizona led 26-10 midway through the first half, taking a 47-22 edge into the locker room. The Wildcats scored the first 15 points of the second half, putting together four runs of at least 9-0 during the game.

The UA is back in action Thursday at home against Washington in the Pac-12 opener. The leading scorer for the Huskies (4-4) is ex-Wildcat guard Terrell Brown Jr., who is averaging 21.9 points per game.