No. 1 Arizona looks comfortable in top spot, rolls past No. 23 Wisconsin 98-73 #Arizona #comfortable #top #spot #rolls #Wisconsin

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Pelle Larsson scored a career-high 21 points, Caleb Love added 20, and No. 1 Arizona rolled to a 98-73 win over No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Wildcats — playing as the top team in the country for the first time in nine years — looked comfortable in their new role, using a 25-8 run to end the first half and take a 17-point halftime lead.

Larsson finished 6 of 6 shooting from the field, including 4 of 4 on 3-pointers. The Wildcats shot 58% from the field.

It was tight game for the first 10 minutes, and the score was tied at 23-all with 8:50 left in the first half before a stretch of overwhelming offense from the Wildcats gave them a 48-31 advantage at the break. Kylan Boswell hit a long 3-pointer just before the buzzer to extend the advantage to 17.

A 55-second, eight-point stretch encapsulated the run: Larsson splashed home his third 3-pointer of the first half, Love followed with a steal and a soaring dunk and then Oumar Ballo capped the fireworks with an alley-oop slam.

Wisconsin was shook and wouldn’t recover. The Badgers came into the game on a six-game winning streak, including a win over then-No. 3 Marquette.

John Blackwell led Wisconsin with 17 points.

Arizona hasn’t been No. 1 in the AP Top 25 since an eight-week stint that ended in January 2014 under former coach Sean Miller. Coach Tommy Lloyd is in his third season after a long run as an assistant at Gonzaga, and his first two teams each spent multiple weeks inside the top five.

BIG PICTURE

Wisconsin: The Badgers hung with the Wildcats for a little while, but simply ran into a buzzsaw. Wisconsin should learn from the hostile road environment and there’s no reason it can’t be a significant factor in the Big Ten race.

Arizona: Lloyd said last week that his team needed to embrace the high expectations of being a No. 1 team. Mission accomplished. The Badgers gave the Wildcats some fight early, but Arizona’s late first-half run is a sign that this could be a team that stays in the top spot for a while. A big game awaits against Purdue next weekend.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: Host Jacksonville State on Thursday.

Arizona: Faces No. 4 Purdue next Saturday in Indianapolis.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball


#Arizona #comfortable #top #spot #rolls #Wisconsin

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