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

unbeaten teams.

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

points.

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

15 points.

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

against Miami.

”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

http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.