No. 3 Arizona turns rematch with California into a romp
Nick Johnson scored 22 points, Kaleb Tarczewski added 16 and No. 3 Arizona quickly turned its rematch with California into an 87-59 rout Wednesday night.
The Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona came out of its last meeting with California a bit discombobulated, hurting from its first loss and the loss of forward Brandon Ashley for the rest of the season.
It took a little while, but the Wildcats seem to have their groove back — just at the right time.
Coming off two solid road wins, No. 3 Arizona played one of its best games of the season — certainly since Ashley went down — quickly turning its rematch with Cal into an 87-59 rout Wednesday night.
Nick Johnson had 22 points after struggling against Cal the first time and Kaleb Tarczewski added 16 points for the Wildcats, who pulled out a tough win at Utah and routed Colorado last week.
“Obviously, we played very well tonight, one of our best games of the season,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “You might make the argument that the game against Colorado and tonight’s game were the best back-to-back games we’ve played all season.”
Cal won the first meeting 60-58 on a last-second jumper by Justin Cobbs that sent the students pouring onto the court.
Arizona (26-2, 13-2 Pac-12) ran away from the Bears early in the rematch, using a big first-half run and good shooting all game to prevent the season sweep.
T.J. McConnell finished with 13 points and six assists, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson provided a lift off the bench with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“It feels good right now,” said McConnell, who has 22 assists and one turnover the past three games. “We’re shooting the ball well, and when we do that, we’re tough to beat.”
Cal (18-10, 9-6) struggled at times against Arizona’s defensive pressure and had little chance of stopping the Wildcats at the other end to lose for the 17th time in 19 games at McKale Center.
At Arizona St. 76, Stanford 64
Jahii Carson scored 26 points — 23 in the second half — as Arizona State snapped the Cardinal’s three-game winning streak.
With the win, the Sun Devils (20-8, 9-6) moved into a four-way tie for third place in the Pac-12 with three games to play.
Jermaine Marshall added 16 points, including 12 during a key 10-minute stretch of the first half, as Arizona State opened up a 10-point lead and never looked back.
Anthony Brown led Stanford (18-9, 9-6) with 21 points and Chasson Randle had 17.
Top 10 men
At No. 8 Villanova 67, Butler 48
Darrun Hilliard and James Bell scored 11 points each to lead Villanova over Butler. The Wildcats (25-3, 13-2 Big East) won for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Bulldogs (12-16, 2-14) shot only 26 percent in the first half and lost their seventh straight game.
• Wichita State is the 12th team to start a season 30-0.