Tubelis, No. 9 Arizona beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 99-61

Dec 13, 2022, 5:45 AM | Updated: 8:15 pm
Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard Jalen Jackson (4) drives between Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10...

Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard Jalen Jackson (4) drives between Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) and guard Courtney Ramey (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

              Texas A&M Corpus Christi forward Isaac Mushila (10) shoots on Arizona center Oumar Ballo during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Texas A&M Corpus Christi forward Isaac Mushila (10) drives on Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona center Oumar Ballo (11) gets fouled, driving between Texas A&M Corpus Christi forward Isaac Mushila (10) and guard Tyrese Nickelson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 99-61. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona guard Kylan Boswell (4) drives on Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard Ross Williams (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 99-61. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Arizona center Oumar Ballo (11) gets fouled, driving between Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard Ross Williams (23) and guard Simeon Fryer (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona won 99-61. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard Jalen Jackson (4) drives between Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) and guard Courtney Ramey (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Azuolas Tubelis had 20 points and 13 rebounds and No. 9 Arizona hit a season-high 15 3s in a 99-61 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night.

Tubelis, a 6-foot-11 junior from Lithuania, early in the game became the 53rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. He shot 9 of 16 and also had four assists.

Henri Veesaar scored a career-high 16 points off the bench, Oumar Ballo had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Cedric Henderson Jr. had 11 points for the Wildcats (9-1).

Arizona played most of the game without junior point guard Kerr Kriisa after he was subbed out at the first media timeout. He didn’t return due to what the team called a non-COVID illness.

“He hasn’t been feeling well, a little bit run down,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “I don’t think it’s anything significant. We’ve been riding pretty hard and he’s got a little bit of a bug and he just didn’t feel it today.”

The Wildcats topped the 90-point mark for the fifth time this season and improved to 37-0 under second-year coach Tommy Lloyd when scoring 80 or more. Arizona was 15 of 27 from 3-point range, with eight different players hitting a triple, after making 10 of 25 in an 89-75 win over No. 14 Indiana over the weekend in Las Vegas.

Before that, though, Arizona had made only 13 of 64 3s in a 3-game stretch that included its only loss of the season.

“I think on a lot of nights you’ll have open shots, for us it’s just about finding the discipline to take the right open shots,” Lloyd said.

Corpus Christi (5-4) got 12 points from Simeon Fryer but overall shot only 30.7%. One of the smallest teams in Division I, the Islanders were outrebounded 52-32.

Corpus Christi hung around for most of the first half, taking a 25-24 lead with 7:28 to go after getting five points on a possession. Fryer made a 3, with Arizona getting called for a foul under the basket at the same time, leading to Ross Williams’ jumper for the brief edge.

“We did a good job in transition,” Islanders coach Steve Lutz said. “We were able to keep the ball out of the paint, and then they missed some 3-pointers early, which obviously they made later on in the game. Our game plan obviously was to try and limit their shots at the rim, but ultimately they’re just too big and strong and they’re very good.”

The Wildcats scored the next seven points as part of a 15-3 run lead to lead 39-28 with 4:28 left in the first half. The Wildcats were up 47-37 at halftime and expanded the lead to 20 on a 3-pointer from Courtney Ramey with 14:35 remaining

BIG PICTURE

Corpus Christi: In their 20th season at the Division I level, the Islanders are still seeking their first win over a ranked opponent. They haven’t beaten a team from a power conference since knocking off Oregon State in 2009.

Arizona: The Wildcats extended their homecourt win streak to 24 games, tied with Auburn for fourth-longest active streak in the country. Arizona’s all-time best is 71 games, which ran from 1987-92.

UP NEXT

Corpus Christi: Back home Friday to host Division III Schreiner (Texas), the third of four non-Division I schools the Islanders face this season.

Arizona: Hosts No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday night in a rematch of last year’s 77-73 loss in Knoxville.

___

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Tubelis, No. 9 Arizona beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 99-61