It turns out Arizona has more than seven players capable of getting on the court outside of garbage time. Then again, much of Saturday night’s game felt like open run at the rec center.
The fifth-ranked Wildcats rolled to an 84-52 win over Oregon State at McKale Center, their most lopsided win in conference play in two years. It was the sixth straight win for the UA (21-3, 10-3 Pac-12) and kept it within a half-game of first place UCLA with four weeks left in the regular season.
Azuolas Tubelis followed up his epic 40-point outburst against Oregon with 19 points and eight rebounds, doing so in just 23 minutes. That was about the average court time for Arizona’s starters, who logged only 117 minutes with none playing the final 7:33.
The lopsided result enabled Tommy Lloyd to give heavy minutes to his bench for the first time since going to a 7-man rotation. Freshman Filip Borvicanin was the first one into the mix, making his 10th appearance of the season with 2:29 left in the first half, while first-year bigs Dylan Anderson and Henri Veesaar also got in before the break and Adama Bal hit just his second 3 since mid-December early in the second half.
Arizona got 36 points from its reserves, most since scoring 51 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 13. Pelle Larsson led the way with 10, while Bal and Kylan Boswell had eight each and Borvicanin had four. Bal’s output was his best in a Pac-12 game.
Up 47-21 at the break, Arizona looked bored at times to start the second half but still had time for some highlight reel plays, like Courtney Ramey testing out his arm on a runout to Tubelis:
FULL COURT VISION @CourtneyRamey0 hits @azuolaz10 on some Four Verts action in McKale!— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) February 5, 2023
Pac-12 Network pic.twitter.com/a4HCLhJJML
9-0 run got the Beavers (9-15, 3-10) within 21 with 15:11 left but Arizona held OSU to five points over the next 10-plus minutes despite having almost all subs (or subs of subs) in the game.
Arizona limited Oregon State to seven field goals in the first half, scoring as many points at the line (15) as the Beavers did from the field in those opening 20 minutes. There were 21 fouls called in the first half, 14 on OSU, resulting resulting in 31 foul shots.
The Wildcats first got the lead to double digits midway through the period, then all but put the game away with a half-ending 14-0 run that started with six in a row from Tubelis and ended with Boswell draining a long 3 at the buzzer.
OSU had one field goal in the final 6:43 of the first half.
Arizona hits the road next weekend, heading to the Bay Area to face Cal (3-19, 2-9) on Thursday and Stanford (10-12, 4-7) on Saturday. The Wildcats beat Cal by 13 at McKale in early December, while this will be their first matchup this season with the Cardinal.