LAS VEGAS – Azuolas Tubelis scored 21 points and No. 10 Arizona defeated No. 14 Indiana 89-75 on Saturday night in the Vegas Clash.
The Wildcats (8-1) held off Indiana’s surge after their lead was trimmed to 59-56 on consecutive 3-pointers by the Hoosiers midway through the second half. Arizona responded with three straight 3s to build its cushion back to double digits.
Indiana (8-2) got as close as five late in the game, but the Wildcats’ dominance near the rim kept the Hoosiers at bay. Oumar Ballo’s dunk with 1:42 left added an exclamation point.
“I love the way these guys play and we love getting up and down,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “And then there is no panic. It’s fun. It’s fun being in those moments. I like to tell our guys, just let it rip and let’s run our stuff and trust our offense and usually that’ll be the solution in and of itself.”
Ballo had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Pelle Larsson scored 16 and Kerr Kriisa finished with 14.
Arizona also got a huge boost with 17 points from a bench that generally doesn’t provide that much offense.
“It’s huge, because people before the season were talking that we don’t have depth,” Kriisa said. “But I think today our young guys really showed their character.”
Indiana had five players in double figures, led by Race Thompson with 16 points and nine rebounds. Miller Kopp scored 14, Tamar Bates added 13, and Xavier Johnson and Trayce Jackson-Davis each finished with 11.
The Wildcats, who entered leading the nation in field goal percentage (55.2%), including a 64.5% clip from 2-point range, finished 31 of 63 (49.2%), with 21 of 38 (55%) coming from inside the arc.
Arizona finally found its groove from the 3-point line after going 8 of 48 (16.7%) from beyond the arc, hitting 10 of 25 (40%) from long range.
Arizona used a 17-0 run to build a 27-8 lead, but the Hoosiers tightened their defense and battled back to within five. Indiana’s 23-9 spurt late in the first half was sparked by four 3-pointers.
The Wildcats shot 45.5% from the floor before halftime, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Indiana was 12 for 37 (32.4%), including 5 of 15 from beyond the arc.
For the game, Arizona outscored the Hoosiers 42-22 in the paint.
“We got down early but I thought we fought. I can’t fault effort,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “I thought we gave great effort, but you’ve got to give a lot of credit to this team. This Arizona team is a good team. I thought the game was won in the paint and they were the better team tonight in the paint.”
Indiana: Both teams created 10 takeaways, but the Hoosiers were outscored 18-6 in points off turnovers.
Arizona: Improved to 8-3 against Top 25 opponents under Lloyd, including 3-0 this season with wins over then-No. 17 San Diego State and then-No. 10 Creighton.
Indiana: Hosts No. 6 Kansas next Saturday.
Arizona: Hosts Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Tuesday.