When Arizona is on, it’s on. The Wildcats were on against rival Arizona State in Tucson on Saturday, dispatching the Sun Devils with ease 75-47. Arizona limited ASU to 30.5 percent shooting, while the Wildcats knocked down 30-of-63 shots (47.6%) from the floor. Zeke Nnaji led Arizona with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while ASU’s Remy Martin led all scorers with 20 points.
Arizona led by 19 at the break and never looked backed. Arizona’s Nnaji produced his third-straight double-double of the season, while Nico Mannion scored 10 points and dished out seven assists. The Wildcats stymied ASU’s offense all night, leading by 19 at halftime and eventually winning by 28. The Wildcats dominated the boards by a plus-14 margin and outscored the Sun Devils in the paint, 50-18.
Arizona’s freshmen trio of Nnaji, Mannion and Green stole the show, yet again. Nnaji finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mannion scored 10 points and had seven assists. Josh Green had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. ASU’s Martin led all scorers with 20 points. No other Sun Devil scored in double figures.
How They Won?
Arizona’s defense was stellar, frustrating ASU into a variety of difficult shots all game. More importantly, Arizona pulled down 49 rebounds to dominate the glass and reward solid defense with possession of the basketball. Inside the paint, Arizona was a beast, outscoring ASU by a ridiculous margin of 50-18.
Why They Won?
Arizona was not only the bigger team, they were the more physical team. The Wildcats constantly beat the Sun Devils to loose balls, outscored ASU on broken plays, and dominated points in the paint.
Arizona outscored ASU 26-6 in the paint in the first half to lead 36-17 at the break. The Sun Devils really had no chance after that despite some early second half flashes. The dominance inside would continue over the course of the game as the Wildcats would ultimately own paint scoring by a final margin of 50-18.
Player of the Game
Entering the game, Arizona needed its guards to contribute on the glass. Josh Green delivered with seven rebounds. The true frosh would round it his game with 12 points and three blocks. Honorable mention goes to the always efficient Zeke Nnaji, who is becoming a double-double machine for Arizona. Nnaji ended the night with 17 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting.
Stat of the Game
ASU shot just 25.9 percent (7-for-27 FG) from the floor in the first half, while losing the battle of the boards to Arizona by a margin of 26-15. Overall, ASU would make just 18-of-59 field goals (30.5%) on the night.