Miami latest blowout victim to No. 4 Arizona
Miami had 14 steals against No. 4 Arizona, and still wasn’t
close to taking down one of college basketball’s few remaining
Arizona focused on Miami’s backcourt, holding the duo of Shane
Larkin and Durand Scott to eight field goals as the Wildcats won
69-50 on Sunday night at the Diamond Head Classic.
”Shane Larkin and Durand Scott are a handful, and I thought
that from an offensive perspective and a defensive perspective, our
two guys were really ready,” said Arizona’s Sean Miller, who
earned his 200th coaching victory.
Kenny Kadji led Miami (8-2) with 19 points, matching the output
of Arizona’s Mark Lyons.
”It was one of our best performances of the year and it came at
the expense of a good team,” Miller said.
The score itself was nothing special for the Wildcats, who have
won eight games by double digits and five by more than 20
Nick Johnson had 12 points, and Kevin Parrom added 11 points and
eight rebounds for the Wildcats (11-0).
Arizona, one of five unbeaten teams left in the country,
advanced to Tuesday’s championship game of the eight-team
tournament against No. 18 San Diego State, which beat Indiana State
62-55 earlier Sunday. Miami will play Indiana State in the
tournament’s third-place game on Christmas.
After a close game early with several ties and lead changes,
Arizona took a 14-point lead toward the end of the first half and
pulled further away in the second. The Wildcats dominated on
rebounds and spread their offense among several players.
Miami went scoreless for a four-minute stretch of the second
half. Arizona scored 10 points during the drought to take a
26-point lead with less than three minutes remaining.
Arizona shot 48.1 percent (25 of 52) for the game, including 44
percent from 3-point range. Miami made only five 3-pointers, two in
the second half.
Kadji took nearly half of his team’s shots. Durand Scott scored
A putback dunk from Kaleb Tarczewski gave Arizona a 16-point
lead seven minutes into the second half. A few minutes later, Lyons
casually sank a long 3-pointer to push the lead to 19, then slowly
walked backward down the court without expression.
”He has great belief in himself and he can really shoot the
ball,” Miller said of Lyons. ”He also has a competitive nature
that can be contagious, but no question: He set the tone from the
onset, and I thought that he was very good throughout.”
Lyons says he tries to stay serious on the court to set an
example for his teammates.
”Your team is going to look at you, and that’s going to rub off
on them, so I just try to stay with a straight face and let them
know we still have to compete,” Lyons said.
Tarczewski scored eight points and had 13 of Arizona’s 46
rebounds. Miami had only 20 rebounds.
Arizona has played only one close game this season, a one-point
victory over Florida on Dec. 15. One thing Miller said his club
could improve on is cutting down on turnovers. The Wildcats had 16
”We’re trying to be a team that can do some special things and
I think that we want to be hard on ourselves,” Miller said.
”There’s always things that we can do better.”
Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at