It did not look like it would be an easy ride to victory early on, but it certainly was by the time the second half came around.
The No. 7 Arizona Wildcats survived an early scare to cruise past California 73-50 on Saturday night. Stanley Johnson led all players with 18 points and led all Wildcats with nine rebounds.
Cal briefly took a 17-15 lead late in the first half, but the Wildcats responded by going on a 14-2 run, taking a 10-point lead into halftime. Arizona never looked back, improving its record to 18-2 and 6-1 in the Pac-12.
Arizona exacted a little revenge on Cal after having its 21-game winning streak snapped in Berkeley last season. The Wildcats came into that Feb. 1 game ranked No. 1 in the country and lost 60-58.
The Wildcats are winners of four games in a row after a shocking 58-56 loss to unranked Oregon State on Jan. 11. In fact, Arizona has won those four games by an average of 15.5 points.
Here’s how the Wildcats kept their winning streak alive, by the numbers:
6 (Part I)
California is going through a very rough stretch at the moment. The Bears have lost their last six games and are 1-8 since starting the season 10-1.
6 (Part II)
T.J. McConnell led all players with six assists and was Arizona’s only starter to have a helper. The Wildcats had just nine assists overall.
The Wildcats were a bit turnover prone in the first half, giving the ball away 10 times. Arizona shored up that area of their game in the second half as they had only four giveaways.
Bench scoring was a key component of the Wildcats running away with the game. Arizona’s bench contributed 24 points, 12 from Dusan Ristic, while Cal’s bench did not score.
Arizona’s win will surely keep them in the top 10 for yet another week. They came into the week ranked in the top 10 for 31 weeks in a row, the fifth longest streak in Pac-12 conference history.
Neither team was very disciplined on Saturday night. The two teams combined for 35 fouls, the Wildcats had 14 of them. Arizona’s Brandon Ashley and Cal’s Dwight Tarwater each fouled out of the game.