TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona plays Arizona State twice in a 35-game schedule, so the rivalry does not have quite the intensity as it does in football. The Wildcats also are the type of team that puts the same emphasis on every game they play, particularly in the deep Pac-12.
But to crush the Sun Devils at home like they did, it sure does feel sweet.
Allonzo Trier scored 20 points, Ryan Anderson added 15 and No. 12 Arizona manhandled Arizona State 99-61 Wednesday night in its second-most lopsided victory in the series.
“You could definitely feel it in the crowd tonight,” said center Kaleb Tarczewski, who led Arizona’s inside dominance with 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. “We really played off their energy.”
Arizona (22-5, 10-4) got off to a quick start, withstood a brief rally and overwhelmed the smaller Sun Devils at both ends with a 29-6 run spanning halftime.
The Wildcats leaned on Arizona State with their size to pour it on from there, finishing with 38 more points in the paint and a 50-26 rebounding advantage. Anderson and Trier each had eight boards.
Arizona made 21 of 29 shots in the second half and shot 57 percent overall, just missing the series’ largest margin of 40 points, set in the 1987-88 season.
Dusan Ristic scored 16 points, and Gabe York and Kadeem Allen added 12 each for Arizona, which had eight turnovers.
“We have a lot of answers around the basket and we have a number of perimeter players who can really drive the ball,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “We’re attacking the area of the court you really want to attack.”
Except for a brief run in the first half, the Sun Devils (14-13, 4-10) stood little chance against the massive-up-front Wildcats.
Arizona State made a few shots late in the second half after the game was already out of reach just to get to 32 percent. The Sun Devils made 9 of 27 from 3-point range, and had eight of their shots blocked.
Obinna Oleka and Andre Spight each had 15 points in Arizona State’s 10th-worst defeat as a program.
“There are people out there who are basketball people who think they aren’t a Final Four team,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “Well, they need to wake up.”
The Sun Devils managed to keep it close in the first meeting this season before Arizona pulled away in the final two minutes. York hit a trio of pointers during a key run and made eight free throws in the final 1:18 to help the Wildcats beat Arizona State 94-82 in both teams’ Pac-12 opener.
Arizona dominated the Sun Devils early in the rematch, blocking two of their first four shots while holding them scoreless for the opening 4 1/2 minutes. The Wildcats were good at the other end, too, opening with a 15-4 run.
The Sun Devils dusted themselves off after the shaky start, getting some shots to fall and limiting the Wildcats’ touches in the paint with their zone during a 10-0 run that tied the game at 17-all.
“We just checked out a little bit,” Trier said
They got right back into it.
The Wildcats finally got a 3-pointer to fall after missing their first six — York from the corner — and created some shots in transition behind their defense.
Arizona State missed 12 of its final 13 shots in the half and went 8 for 33 from the floor overall to trail 38-24.
Arizona kept the rout rolling in the second half, stretching the lead to 22 in the opening 3 minutes as the Sun Devils became stretched thin with Willie Atwood and Savon Goodman picking up their fourth fouls.
“Our defense just broke in the second half,” Hurley said.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright had been superb since taking over as Arizona’s point guard, distributing the ball, rarely turning it over and playing stellar defense. The sophomore had eight points and seven assists with no turnovers against Arizona State, giving him 25 assists with six turnovers in the past six games.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils were 4 for 15 on 3-pointers in the first half. … Leading scorer Tra Holder (15.3 points per game) had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Arizona: Tarczewski had 10 rebounds in the first half, becoming the 10th player in Arizona history to collect at least 800 for his career. … The Wildcats have won six straight over ASU at McKale Center.
Arizona State plays at Utah on Feb. 25.
Arizona plays at Colorado next Wednesday.