Arizona hosted Colorado Monday night looking for its first Pac-12 win after a three-point loss to Stanford in a game in which starting guard James Akinjo struggled, scoring just eight points in a cold-shooting 2-of-8 performance from the field.
Against Colorado, Akinjo was cold-blooded, going 3-for-3 in the first half from 3-point range, helping Arizona on its hot start in which the team shot 55-percent from the field. The Wildcats claimed their first conference victory by dominating the Buffs 88-74, improving to 7-1 overall.
Akinjo was stellar for Arizona all game long, finishing with 22 points while going 5-for-11 from the field with two rebounds and eight assists with just two turnovers. After starting the game 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, he finished with a season-high five 3-pointers, going 5-for-7.
Arizona had 20 assists to just eight turnovers while outscoring the Buffs 18-0 in fastbreak points. Akinjo and Terrell Brown were responsible for 15 assists with only two turnovers while Colorado had 13 turnovers.
For Brown, this makes six straight games without a turnover, and during this stretch, he has stacked up 20 assists. He is second on the team with 30 assists.
Brown finished with 12 points, going 4-for-5 from the field with seven rebounds in 21 minutes played.
Here’s Akinjo and Brown talking about the team’s victory over Colorado and how they’ve improved since the loss against Stanford:
In the first half, Arizona struggled on the glass, getting outrebounded 18-14. At one point, Colorado had nine second-chance points early on. Sean Miller’s squad won the reboubding battle in the second half, 17-12, and 31-30 at the end of the game.
The effort on the glass and the ability to protect the ball helped Arizona overwhelm Colorado in the paint, outscoring the Buffs 38-18 with center Christian Koloko having a career-high 10 points with eight rebounds.
Here’s Miller talking about his team’s effort and gave his thoughts on how the team did defensively against one of the better players in the conference in McKinley Wright:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.