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Arizona men’s basketball crushes Belmont behind pair of 20-point scorers

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-recap-stats-highlights-belmont-bruins-caleb-love-motiejus-krivas Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a busy weekend on campus, with Arizona hosting two men’s basketball games, two volleyball matches and a football game in a 48-hour span. The first volleyball result didn’t go the Wildcats’ way, but men’s hoops helped move the weekend in a positive direction.

Third-ranked Arizona used an 18-0 run midway through the first half to cruise to a 100-68 win over Belmont on Friday night at McKale Center.

Caleb Love became the first UA player to hit the 20-point mark this season, going for 20 on 8-of-12 shooting while adding six assists against one turnover. Freshman Motiejus Krivas joined Love by making 8 of 10 shots and scoring 20 with nine rebounds off the bench, while three other Wildcats reached double figures to give them 24 such performances in four games.

Arizona (4-0) shot 54.4 percent and held Belmont to 37.7 percent overall, but the Bruins (1-3) did make 12 of 27 3-pointers and had more 3s than 2s as the Wildcats won the rebounding battle 52-22 and the paint scoring 52-18.

Belmont hit its first four 3s, tying the game at 14, and had a chance to take the lead on the following possession, but Malik Dia missed two free throws and Arizona then scored the next 18 points as the Bruins went scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

Love had 10 points during that run, including eight in a row with a pair of 3s.

A 9-0 run made it 49-22 with 3:43 left before halftime, when the Wildcats led by the same score in which they won the 2016 Territorial Cup despite not throwing a pass in the second half (#IYKYK).

The second half was about getting as many guys into double figures as possible. Love and Krivas got there before halftime while Oumar Ballo (12 points, seven rebounds) and Kylan Boswell (14 points, four rebounds, six assists ) hit that mark before the under-16 timeout. Keshad Johnson (11 points) joined the party with back-to-back dunks midway through the second half, the first coming off a behind-the-back pass from Love off a steal at midcourt.

The UA is right back at it Sunday afternoon, hosting UT-Arlington in its final tuneup before taking on Michigan State in Palm Springs on Thanksgiving.