No. 14 Arizona blows out Utah Tech 104-77 behind Kriisa

Nov 17, 2022, 6:28 AM | Updated: 9:39 pm
Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa (25) shields the ball from Utah Tech guard Isaiah Pope (21) during the se...

Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa (25) shields the ball from Utah Tech guard Isaiah Pope (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

              Utah Tech guard Cameron Gooden (3) drives against Arizona guard Adama Bal during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona center Oumar Ballo, top right, shoots over Utah Tech forward Tanner Christensen (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona guard Cedric Henderson Jr. dunks against Utah Tech during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona center Oumar Ballo (11) is fouled by Utah Tech forward Trey Edmonds during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis, center,drives between Utah Tech forwards Trey Edmonds and Dancell Leter (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona guard Cedric Henderson Jr. drives past Utah Tech guard Cameron Gooden (3) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa (25) shields the ball from Utah Tech guard Isaiah Pope, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa (25) shields the ball from Utah Tech guard Isaiah Pope (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kerr Kriisa scored a career-high 24 points and No. 14 Arizona steamrolled a third straight opponent to open the season, setting a school record for free throw shooting Thursday night in a 104-77 victory over Utah Tech.

Coming off a triple-double in his previous game, Kriisa was 6 of 7 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 at the foul line while adding four rebounds and five assists. Last week against Southern, the junior point guard had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for his second career triple-double, becoming the third player in school history to do it multiple times.

Arizona went 22 for 22 from the free throw line. The previous school mark was 18 of 18 against Stanford in 2005.

“I guess if you take some extra reps then they actually go in more often,” Kriisa said.

After shooting 33.6% from 3-point range last season, Kriisa is 11 of 17 in three games this season.

“I’m trying to be consistent with hunting my shot,” he said. “I’m up and down with my shot (selection). Some games I take two shots and other games I take eight shots. I’m trying to find a good balance, so it’s no surprise for my teammates if I take more shots.”

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.

Henderson was 8 of 11 from the field after scoring only eight points in his first two games since transferring from Campbell.

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.

“I thought second half we kind of started to fight a little bit,” coach Jon Judkins said. “First half it looked like we were a little bit scared, and we can’t have that when you come to an arena like this. It’s packed and it’s loud, it’s gonna happen, but that’s why we play them and hopefully we learn from this and get better and watch film and try to do a better job.”

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.

BIG PICTURE

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.

UP NEXT

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

New York Islanders celebrate after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second ...
Associated Press

Varlamov makes 21 saves as Islanders blank Blackhawks 3-0

NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Martin, Zach Parise and Brock Nelson scored second-period goals and Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves as the New York Islanders downed the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on Sunday night. The Islanders fired 40 shots at Blackhawks netminder Arvid Soderblom in snapping a two-game losing streak and improving to 9-4-0 at home. […]
21 hours ago
Southern California guard Boogie Ellis, right, drives to the basket against Oregon State forward Ty...
Associated Press

Johnson punctuates USC comeback as Trojans down Oregon State

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Johnson scored 17 points shooting 7 for 10 and USC’s methodical second-half comeback led to a 63-62 win on Sunday night over Oregon State. Dzmitry Ryuny’s 3-pointer early in the second half gave the Beavers their last double-digit lead of the night at 37-27. The Trojans (6-3, 2-0 Pac-12) then […]
21 hours ago
Santos soccer team supporters secure a banner with the image of former soccer star Pele, in front o...
Associated Press

Pelé’s family: COVID caused infection, death not imminent

SAO PAULO (AP) — Two daughters and one grandson of Brazilian soccer great Pelé said the three-time World Cup winner has been hospitalized since Tuesday to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. They added that the 82-year-old is under no imminent risk of death. Kely and Flavia Nascimento and Arthur Arantes do Nascimento said […]
21 hours ago
Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn (22) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL ho...
Associated Press

Jack Quinn scores twice, Sabres beat Sharks 6-3

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jack Quinn scored twice to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Sunday night. Tage Thompson, JJ Peterka, Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch also scored for Buffalo, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves. The Sabres scored three times in the second period to take control. “We just […]
21 hours ago
Arizona State guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. celebrates a turnover by Stanford during the second half ...
Associated Press

Cambridge Jr. scores 19, Arizona State beats Stanford 68-64

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 19 points and Arizona State used a late run to beat Stanford 68-64 Sunday night for the Sun Devils’ sixth consecutive win. Stanford used a 13-2 run early in the second half and later a 10-2 spurt that gave the Cardinal their first lead since 2-0 when […]
21 hours ago
Northwestern's Matthew Nicholson, left, dunks against Michigan State's Joey Hauser (10) during the ...
Associated Press

Northwestern beats No. 20 Michigan State in Big Ten opener

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Boo Buie scored 20 points and Northwestern beat No. 20 Michigan State 70-63 on Sunday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Chase Audige added 15 points and Ty Berry had 13 for Northwestern (6-2), which ended a two-game losing streak. “Needless to say, this was a huge […]
21 hours ago
No. 14 Arizona blows out Utah Tech 104-77 behind Kriisa