Wed, 19 Feb 2020

Arizona defeats Cal for 8th straight time

Field Level Media
14 Feb 2020, 16:05 GMT+10

Arizona's Zeke Nnaji scored 21 points, including seven in a key second-half stretch, as the Wildcats beat Cal 68-52 on Thursday night in Berkeley, Calif.

Arizona used a 12-0 run to take a 45-32 lead with 10:17 to go. Nnaji started the run with back-to-back baskets off strong post moves and also contributed a three-point play during the run. The Bears never got closer than eight points after that.

Arizona (17-7, 7-4 Pac-12) beat Cal (10-14, 4-7) for the eighth consecutive time.

The Wildcats' Dylan Smith scored all of his 14 points in the second half. He made 4 of 5 shots from 3-point range, including two on consecutive possessions under the five-minute mark for a 16-point lead. He entered the game having missed 17 consecutive tries from behind the arc -- a skid that reached 18 until the second half.

Matt Bradley led Cal with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Andre Kelly had eight points and nine rebounds.

Cal trailed 30-21 one minute into the second half but climbed within 33-32 on a corner jumper from Grant Anticevich at the 14-minute mark. Nnaji responded with the next four points, and Smith hit a 3-pointer for a 40-32 lead with 11:54 to go.

Nnaji continued the run with a three-point play, and Nico Mannion capped the 12-0 run with two free throws. Mannion finished with 10 points and five assists.

Cal led 8-7 early before Arizona ripped off an 8-0 run, capped by Mannion's driving layup. The Wildcats eventually led by nine and took a 27-20 lead into halftime after holding the Bears to 32.0 percent shooting.

Arizona starting center Chase Jeter, who had played only two minutes since Jan. 12 because of back spasms, played three minutes in the first half, scoring two points.

Wildcats backup guard Jemarl Baker Jr. turned over the ball on a bad pass with 5:33 to go in the first half, ending a streak of 151 minutes without committing a turnover.

The Bears fell to 4-2 at home in Pac-12 play.

--Field Level Media

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