From a quick glance at the box score of Thursday night’s Arizona Wildcats win over Colorado, one might think the ‘Cats didn’t actually win this one, 68-54.
That’s because Colorado guard Askia Booker’s game-high 30 points jump off the page. The Wildcats struggled to contain Booker, who was 11-of-17 on his way to a career day.
So it must’ve been a close game, right?
The rest of the stats told the real story — one in which No. 10 Arizona completely dominated the Buffaloes both in the paint and on the boards, and rendered all shooters aside from Booker essentially useless.
Though the Wildcats had a slow start, missing 11 of their first 15 shots, all of Colorado’s players only complemented Booker’s 18 first-half points with seven of their own.
Arizona took a 35-25 halftime lead and hardly looked back, keeping the Buffaloes behind them despite Booker’s 12 second-half points.
Stanley Johnson led the ‘Cats with 22 points and Kaleb Tarczewski added 14 to the victory after a tough loss to unranked Oregon State last week.
What did the win look like, by the numbers?
The win upped the Wildcats’ record to 15-2 (3-1 Pac-12).
The ‘Cats sealed the 31st straight victory in McKale Center and their 13th straight Pac-12 home win.
Arizona won the game in the paint, outscoring Colorado 30-14.
The glass battle was also a deciding factor in favor of the ‘Cats, who snagged 15 more boards than their opponents and scored 17 second chance points over Colorado’s four. Arizona is now 12-0 when winning the rebound battle this season.
Center Tarczewski broke a rebounding drought of 43 minutes when he grabbed his first board against Colorado. He finished with two.
Arizona scored 16 points off 10 Buffalo turnovers.
All Colorado shooters aside from Booker did not score more than eight individual points against Arizona. The rest of the Buffaloes were just 10-of-32 from the field with 11 scorers combining for just 24 of Colorado’s 54 total points.
The Wildcats combined for 16 total assists, doubling Colorado’s total.
Arizona now leads the previously-tied series against Colorado, 12-11.