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Oumar Ballo double-double paces Arizona men’s basketball to easy win over Cal

arizona-wildcats-cal-golden-bears-mens-basketball-recap-final-score-stats-updates-pac12-2024 Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

It’s unclear when (or if) Arizona will face any of its soon-to-be former Pac-12 brethren in the future. If there’s one the Wildcats would sure love to keep on the schedule it’s Cal.

Oumar Ballo scored a season-high 22 points, reaching 1,000 for his Arizona career along the way, and added 13 rebounds in the 11th-ranked Wildcats’ 91-65 win over Cal on Thursday night. It was Arizona’s 15th straight win over the Golden Bears, 10th in a row at McKale Center.

Ballo was 8 for 8 from the field, the third time with the UA he’s been perfect and attempted at least eight shots, and hit six of 11 free throws for his most points at McKale. It was his sixth double-double of the season, third in the past four games, and came in just 22 minutes of action.

Arizona (16-5, 7-3 Pac-12) shot 50.8 percent, with Keshad Johnson adding 15, KJ Lewis scoring a career-high 14 and Caleb Love chipping in 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The Wildcats had four players with at least three assists and six with four or more rebounds, outrebounding Cal 51-32.

Cal (8-13, 4-6) shot 37.1 percent and was 7 of 28 from 3. The Golden Bears only attempted nine free throws, to 30 for Arizona, though the Wildcats shot just 60 percent from the line.

Up 48-28 at the half, Arizona came out of the locker room sloppy. That allowed Cal to get within 15 with 15:56 left but the outcome was never in doubt.

Unlike the previous meeting with Cal, when it gave up 55 second-half points, Arizona held the Bears to 38.5 percent shooting after halftime.

Ballo made four shots in the first three minutes of the game, and his 3-point play with 17:15 left got him to 1,000 with the Wildcats in his 93rd game. The 7-foot senior topped the 1,000-point mark for his college career in January.

Arizona led 16-6 before the first media timeout, and a 12-0 run upped the margin to 29-11 midway through the first half. It led by 20 with 8:20 to go before the break.

The Wildcats get an extra day off before finishing the weekend against Stanford on Sunday night. It will be their first chance to avenge a loss this season, having fallen 100-82 to the Cardinal in Palo Alto on Dec. 31.