No. 4 Arizona men’s basketball blows out Cal behind Azuolas Tubelis’ double-double
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Azuolas Tubelis had 23 points, 14 rebounds and four steals to lead No. 4 Arizona to an 85-62 win over California on Thursday night.
Tubelis, the conference’s player of the week, recorded his Pac-12-leading 11th double-double of the season. He also leads the conference in scoring and rebounding.
“There’s no secret, Zu is one of the best players in the country,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “He’s having a first-team All-American type year.”
Pelle Larsson added 16 points to help the Wildcats (22-3, 11-3 Pac-12) to their seventh win in a row and 13th straight over Cal. Oumar Ballo had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Cedric Henderson Jr. chipped in 11 and eight boards.
“I thought Pelle and Ced played with tremendous energy and really impacted the game in a lot of areas,” Lloyd said.
Added Henderson: “We want to win a championship. That’s what our goal is. So we can’t ever come out and be lackluster against anybody.”
Sam Alajiki scored 12 points to lead the Bears (3-21, 2-11), who dropped their eighth in a row. Lars Thiemann added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Arizona started the game on an 18-3 run and built a 44-32 lead at the half. The Wildcats outrebounded Cal 46-30, including 15-5 on the offensive glass, resulting in a 27-3 edge in second-chance points.
“We always want to get off to a good start,” Lloyd said. “I want to enter those games throwing haymakers. We’re not trying to feel our way into these games. I was really happy that our guys came out and played with good effort and good energy early.”
After missing their first seven field goal attempts, the Bears managed to break the 50-point barrier for the first time in five games.
“I thought that we competed for significant segments in the game,” Cal coach Mark Fox said. “We just dug such a big hole.”
Both teams struggled at the line, with Arizona going 6 of 17 and Cal making 5 of 10.
Arizona: The Wildcats used their size and athleticism to control play against the last-place Bears. Although it was a road game, the Wildcats had a sizable contingent of fans in the crowd, with several “U of A!” chants audible throughout the game. “It’s actually amazing,” Henderson said. “I mean, you’re on the road. You’re at a place that’s not near home and you have just as many fans as the home team does sometimes, and it’s just like wow. It’s a different atmosphere. I love it.” … Arizona improved to 19-0 when scoring at least 70 points and 20-0 when leading at halftime.
California: The Bears lost their 21st game of the season, just four from setting a school record. Cal’s three wins this year are tied for the fewest in the country. … Former Cal coach Lou Campanelli was honored with a moment of silence before the game. Campanelli died Jan. 31 at the age of 84. He coached the Bears from 1985-93, leading them to the NCAA Tournament in 1990.
Arizona plays at Stanford on Saturday.
Cal hosts Arizona State on Saturday at 6 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.