Arizona comes back from double-digit halftime deficit to beat Stanford

Feb 4, 2024, 8:27 PM

Oumar Ballo...

Arizona's Oumar Ballo (11) gestures after scoring against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Oumar Ballo had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Caleb Love added 18 points and No. 11 Arizona shut down Stanford in the second half for an 82-71 win on Sunday night.

The Wildcats (17-5, 8-3 Pac-12) let Stanford have its way offensively for the second straight game, falling into an 11-point halftime hole as the Cardinal (11-10, 6-5) hit nine 3-pointers.

Arizona turned the game around with its defense, holding Stanford to 9-of-32 shooting while forcing 11 second-half turnovers. Pelle Larsson added 17 points and the Wildcats had a 48-24 advantage in the paint.

Maxime Raynaud had 29 points and Michael Jones 21 for Stanford, which played without leading scorer Kanaan Carlyle due to an upper-body injury suffered Thursday against Arizona State.

The Cardinal shot Arizona out of Maples Pavilion on Dec. 31, hitting a school-record 16 3-pointers on 25 attempts in a 100-82 win.

Stanford got off to another torrid start at McKale Center, lost its touch and found it again in a first half filled with wild swings.

The Cardinal opened 6 of 7 from 3 to take a 26-17 lead, missed 13 straight shots during a six-minute funk, then started draining 3s again during a 12-0 run.

Raynaud had 21 points by halftime, Jones 16 and Stanford went 9 of 19 from the arc to lead 45-34.

Arizona started whittling the lead down by getting the ball to Ballo and tightening up on defense.

Ballo powered inside for a couple of early baskets, forcing the Cardinal collapse and open up the floor for Arizona.

The Wildcats also were far better defensively in the second half, staying connected with Stanford’s shooters while contesting nearly every shot. The Cardinal missed 15 of their first 18 shots and Arizona surged to a 59-52 lead with a 13-0 run.

Stanford kept hanging around despite its shaky shooting, but KJ Lewis stretched Arizona’s lead to 75-65 with a layup and two free throws with just over a minute left.


Stanford: The Cardinal have led the nation in 3-point shooting since the start of Pac-12 play on Dec. 29 and were certainly on the mark in the first half. Once Arizona cut off Stanford’s offensive flow in the second half, the Cardinal had no answer.

Arizona: The Wildcats have had trouble with Stanford the past few seasons and looked like they might be headed toward a season sweep at the hands of the Cardinal. But Arizona found its defensive mojo in the second half, riding each missed shot and roar of the crowd to victory.


Stanford: Hosts UCLA on Wednesday.

Arizona: Plays at Utah on Thursday.

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