Kerr Kriisa triple-doubles as No. 2 Arizona buries Utah with flurry of triples
Arizona turned Salt Lake City into Speed City Thursday night.
After another slow start for the No. 2 Wildcats, Utah had a surprise 28-27 lead with 6:44 to go in the first half. And then Arizona, as it has done time and time again this season, got itself out into the open floor and blew the game open.
The Cats closed the final 6:44 of the first half on a 26-5 run to take a 20-point lead into the halftime break. They then opened the second half with nine straight points to effectively put the game to bed. Utah never got closer than 17 the rest of the way as the Wildcats cruised to a 97-77 win.
As Arizona raced away from Utah at the end of the first half, it was point guard Kerr Kriisa firing them ahead. A dangerous shooter on even his worst days, the Kriisa looked like the old No. 25-wearing Kerr for the Wildcats in the first half. All 21 of his points came in the first 20 minutes as Kriisa splashed seven of his eight 3-point attempts.
Five came during the Wildcats’ run at the end of the half, including a running halfcourt heave to beat the buzzer.
KERR KRIISA FROM HALF COURT!!!@KerrKriisa's SEVENTH three of the half!
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) February 25, 2022
In the second half, Kriisa ran the show and let his teammates eat, taking just two shots while dishing eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds. Azuolas Tubelis, who finished with a game-high 23 points, scored 15 in the second half on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 shooting from the foul line.
But this was about Kriisa, who finished with a 21-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. In doing so, the guard became just the seventh player in program history to triple-double in a game and the first to do so since Andre Iguodala in 2004.
The Wildcats finished with 24 assists, a 43% clip from deep, and a 52% clip from the floor.
Utah saw four score in double-digits, led by 15 points from Gabe Madsen.
Arizona (25-2, 15-1 Pac-12) is back in action on Saturday against Colorado at 5 p.m. PT. Utah (11-17, 4-14 Pac-12) will host Arizona State on Saturday a 7 p.m. PT.