Arizona entered the final day of 2023 as the second-best defensive team in the country, according to KenPom.com. It goes into 2024 hoping that Sunday was a major anomaly.
Stanford hit a school-record 16 3-pointers, needing only 25 attempts to do so, and shot 58.1 percent overall to blow out the 4th-ranked Wildcats 100-82 at Maples Pavilion.
It was the second straight loss in Palo Alto for Arizona (10-3, 1-1 Pac-12) and third in its last five games overall. Each of those have seen the opponents score 90 or more points after that happened only once in the UA’s first 80 games under Tommy Lloyd.
Stanford freshman Kaanan Caryle, who didn’t become eligible until two weeks ago and had only 24 points in his first three games, scored 28 and was 6 of 8 from 3 including a 40-footer with three seconds left that gave the Cardinal (6-6, 1-1) their school record. Spencer Jones was 5 of 6 for 21 points, his fourth 20-point game against the UA, and 7-footer Maxime Raynaud even drained two triples after coming in 2 of 14 from 3.
The 100 points were the most the UA has allowed in regulation since the 2009 Sweet 16 against Louisville, when it was blown out 103-64. The last Pac-12 opponent to reach triple digits was Oregon (105) in 2001.
Arizona shot 43.8 percent overall and 26.9 percent from 3 and was outrebounded by one. The Wildcats had a 46-24 edge in points in the paint but Stanford outscored them by 21 from the perimeter.
The UA also had a season-low 12 assists on 32 made baskets, while Stanford had 25 on 36 makes with 11 from Jared Bynum.
Caleb Love led the UA was 23 points, while Oumar Ballo had 12. It was the first time this season Arizona had fewer than four players score in double figures.
Down 44-35 at the half, Arizona got it down to seven twice before Stanford more than doubled that advantage via more hot 3-point shooting. The Cardinal drained their first five triples of the second half—after going 7 of 12 in the first half—to lead 67-48 with 14:53 remaining.
The UA got it down to 14 only to see Stanford hit another 3 and Carlyle made three fouls shots to up the margin to 20 with 9:46 left.
A 7-0 run got the Wildcats within 77-64 a minute later, and it was down to an 11-point game when the Cardinal scored six in a row to get it back to 17. Carlyle then hit Stanford’s 15th 3 to make it 91-73.
Stanford made its first three shots of the game to lead 7-0, extending that lead to 22-14 on a 3-pointer Raynaud with 9:03 left in the first half. The Wildcats scored seven in a row and had a chance to take their first lead but Pelle Larsson’s jumper didn’t fall, and the Cardinal responded with an 11-0 run to build a 33-21 lead that included a 4-point play and Ballo missing a pair of free throws.
The UA was down 15 with 2:32 left before outscoring Stanford 7-1 down the stretch to get the deficit to single digits at the half.
Arizona plays its Pac-12 home opener Thursday at McKale Center against Colorado, which is 2-0 in league play after a home sweep of the Washington schools.