TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kerr Kriisa followed up a triple-double in his previous game with a career-high 24 points and No. 14 Arizona steamrolled a third straight opponent to open the season, beating Utah Tech 104-77 on Thursday night. Kriisa was 6 of 7 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 at the foul line, […]
No. 14 Arizona blows out Utah Tech 104-77 behind Kriisa
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kerr Kriisa followed up a triple-double in his previous game with a career-high 24 points and No. 14 Arizona steamrolled a third straight opponent to open the season, beating Utah Tech 104-77 on Thursday night.
Kriisa was 6 of 7 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 at the foul line, adding four rebounds and five assists. In his previous game, last week against Southern, the junior point guard had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for his second career triple-double, becoming just the third player in school history to do it multiple times.
Azuolas Tubelis and Cedric Henderson Jr. each had 20 points for the Wildcats. Oumar Ballo added 16 points and 11 rebounds as Arizona (3-0) topped 100 points for the second time in three games. The Wildcats were 12 of 22 from beyond the arc and shot 63.6% for the game.
Utah Tech (1-3) got 13 points from Noa Gonsalves and 12 each from Frank Staine and Dancell Leter but shot only 36.1%. The Trailblazers made 13 steals, converting 19 Arizona turnovers into 21 points.
Arizona led 49-21 at halftime despite 12 giveaways, shooting 62% from the floor and grabbing five more rebounds than Utah Tech had points. The Trailblazers surpassed their first-half scoring total less than nine minutes into the second but couldn’t get the deficit below 23 at 78-55 with 8:23 to go.
Arizona spotted Utah Tech a 4-0 lead before going on a 23-4 run in which the Wildcats made nine of 10 shots, including five 3s. Another 18-2 run made it 41-13 with 5:08 left in the first half.
The Trailblazers missed 18 of 19 shots during one stretch, shooting just 18.7% in the opening 20 minutes.
Utah Tech: The Trailblazers are in their third year of the four-year transition period after moving up from Division II, but this is the first season under their new school name. In July, the university officially changed its name from Dixie State.
Arizona: The Wildcats have won 22 consecutive games at McKale Center, tied for the third-longest active streak in Division I and their best since winning 49 in a row from 2013-16. The program record is 71 from 1987-92.
Utah Tech: Continues a four-game road trip at Idaho on Saturday. The Trailblazers aren’t home again until Dec. 9.
Arizona: Heads to Hawaii to play in the Maui Invitational, opening Monday against Cincinnati.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25