Arizona Basketball

No Excuses: Arizona crushes Colorado for its first road sweep in the mountains since 2015

Attitude beat altitude on Saturday night.

Of course, there was so much more to it, but Arizona played one of its best basketball games in Boulder, Colorado all season, beating Colorado, 99-79.

Offense. Defense. All phases.

It had a strut, much like it did in November and most of December. Arizona has now won three consecutive road games – Oregon, Utah and Colorado – in one of Arizona’s toughest stretches. Heck, Arizona hadn’t swept Utah or Colorado since 2015.

“W, W, W,” Lloyd said on his post-game radio show. “I think that tells you something, (that) you have a special group.”

Arizona moved to 19-5 overall and 10-3 in the Pac-12 Conference, staying at the top of the standings.

Arizona made it tough for Colorado all night. It also didn’t turn the ball over much (nine). And it attacked the basket and hit shots on the perimeter. Victory doesn’t come any easier to explain.

“We just come set on winning the game,” said UA guard Caleb Love, who had 19 points to match his season average. “We came in with our hard hats on, no excuses, came in, knew the game plan, and we executed it.”

No excuses. Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said it at least a couple of times Saturday night in explaining his team’s win. Arizona wasn’t going to alibi itself after Thursday’s long, three overtime win vs. Utah. It wasn’t going to say the game was on the road, where it’s been tough for the Cats.

No excuses.

“Really just come out here with a lot of energy,” Love said of UA’s mentality. “… Just kind of punch them in the mouth. That’s what we did. We got whatever we wanted on the offensive end. Really controlled the game and on the defensive end we punched them in the mouth as well.”

It’s the second game in the last month – maybe weeks – where Arizona looked like it did in the early part of the schedule. Which means, of course, the feeling/play may fade a time or two, but at least it beats the alternative of inconsistent play, something that’s plagued it for a few weeks.

“By no means are we taking anything for granted or (will say) we’ve arrived,” Lloyd said on the radio.

Saturday, Arizona arrived, played and got out with a very good win.

Arizona was start-to-finish good, although it took a few minutes to take over.

“I knew our guys would respond,” Lloyd told reporters in Colorado. “Our guys are competitors and they’re winners and we knew that everyone was trying to make excuses for us, and we don’t make any excuses. We knew full well that we could come here and lose to a good Colorado team, and it had nothing to do with three overtimes on Thursday.”

Arizona received some of its best play from Kylan Boswell, who finished with 15 points but more importantly played confidently throughout.

Oumar Ballo, playing with energy, continued to play like he has the last two, three weeks. He had 16 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double.

Pelle Larsson played like a senior who has limited time in an Arizona uniform, aggressive and with precision. He’s done that a lot lately. He finished with 18 points.

Jaden Bradley had “his best game at Arizona,” Lloyd said.

Of course, there was more, but what really sealed the victory was Arizona dominating second half. Already up by seven, Arizona started its rout with two big 3-pointers and some added confidence with an 18-5 run. Arizona never relinquished its double-digit lead, leading by as many as the final margin.

“(We did) nothing different,” Lloyd explained. “It was just like, hey, we know what we’re playing for. Competing for the league championship is important to us. We knew playing well at Colorado – it’s not make or break, but it goes a long way to helping you.”

That would be helping in getting better and winning a Pac-12 regular season title … and beyond. Asked if this team is gelling better, Love offered this:

“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “We just want to get better and better each and every game, each and every practice. Coaches just harping on continuing to put confidence in us and just believing in (ourselves) I feel like. Every game we just want to get better and better and better.”

Saturday night, Arizona did.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top