NCAAB: No. 14 Arizona uses offensive explosion to best Cincinnati
Azuolas Tubelis scored 30 points and had 11 rebounds as No. 14 Arizona scorched the nets in the second half to defeat pesky Cincinnati 101-93 at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Monday night.
Tubelis made 12 of 18 shots, and frontcourt partner Oumar Ballo also had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Arizona advance to Tuesday night’s semifinal against San Diego State.
The Wildcats (4-0) made their first 12 shots after halftime and shot 79.3 percent (23 of 29) in the second half, when the teams combined for 124 points. The Bearcats (3-2) kept pace with torrid 3-point shooting, led by senior Landers Nolley II, who finished with a career-high 33 points while making 9 of 14 from behind the arc.
Arizona led 40-30 at the break but couldn’t pull away despite its hot shooting. Cincinnati, which made 13 of 19 3-pointers in the second half, climbed within 81-74 on a long ball from Mika Adams-Woods with 5:29 to go.
Ballo answered with a dunk, Courtney Ramey made a driving layup and Arizona’s lead never dipped into single digits after that until there were 13 seconds left.
Ramey, a Texas transfer, scored 12 points in the final five minutes and finished with 17 points in his Arizona debut after missing three games due to an NCAA suspension. Cedric Henderson contributed 14 points, and Kerr Kriisa had 11 points and seven assists. The Wildcats have scored more than 100 points in three of their first four games.
Viktor Lakhin put in 17 points for Cincinnati, which will take on Ohio State in the losers bracket on Tuesday.
Arizona ran into immediate resistance, with Cincinnati blocking three shots in the first two minutes and taking a 13-11 lead on an alley-oop fastbreak dunk by Dan Skillings Jr. But the Wildcats shifted into a higher gear on offense. They were up 26-22 when they went on a 14-2 run, taking their largest lead of the half at 40-24 with 2:59 left.
–Field Level Media