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Ballo leads No. 5 Arizona to blowout win over rival Arizona State

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Jaden Bradley scored 21 points, Oumar Ballo dominated inside and No. 5 Arizona overpowered Arizona State 105-60 on Saturday night in the rivals' final Pac-12 game at McKale Center.

The Wildcats (20-5, 11-3 Pac-12) had their free-flowing offense clicking all night and tightened up their defense late in the first half to turn the rivalry game into a blowout before the teams head to the Big 12 next season.

Arizona shot 57% from the floor and had a 52-16 advantage in the paint to give Tommy Lloyd his 81st win, most in major-conference history by a coach in his first three seasons at a school. Ballo finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Arizona State (13-13, 7-8) pulled off a miracle in its last trip to Tucson, winning 89-88 on Desmond Cambridge Jr.'s half-court heave at the buzzer.

The Sun Devils were no match for Arizona inside on this trip south — particularly Ballo.

Arizona established the 7-foot, 260-pound center in the paint early, creating easy shots while racking up fouls against Arizona State. Adam Miller had 16 points to lead the Sun Devils, who shot 36% and 6 of 24 from 3-point range after a torrid start.

The NCAA selection committee revealed its potential top 16 seeds on Saturday and Arizona was on the No. 1 line with Purdue, reigning national champion UConn and Houston.

Arizona State certainly wasn't intimidated by the Wildcats' stature nor playing in McKale Center, trading them shot for shot midway through the first half.

Arizona kept hitting. The Sun Devils didn't.

The Wildcats made seven straight shots to lead 41-29, then went on a 13-2 run. Arizona shot 21 of 31 from the floor to lead 49-31 at halftime.

Arizona State went six minutes without hitting a shot and missed eight of its last nine as the fouls started piling up.

Arizona kept scoring to open the second half, going up 21 on a long 3 by Caleb Love (15 points) that forced Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley to call timeout. The Wildcats stretched the lead to 27 midway through the second half.


Arizona State: The Sun Devils managed to hang with Arizona early by hitting shots, but wore down against Arizona's size to end any hopes of a repeat win at McKale Center.

Arizona: The Wildcats have been on a roll lately, winning five straight while proving to be deserving of a No. 1 seed — at least in mid-February.


Arizona State: Plays at Washington on Thursday.

Arizona: Plays at Washington State on Thursday.


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