BERKELEY, Calif. — Arizona went over eight minutes without a field goal in the first half but easily made up for it in a 87-65 win over Cal on Saturday at Haas Pavilion.
The Wildcats were playing the Pac-12’s worst team, and doing so before another large base of fans supporting them as they enjoyed Wednesday against Stanford. They held Cal to just 34.5 percent shooting and were powered by Chase Jeter's career-high 23 points and nine rebounds.
UA quickly figured out how to solve Cal’s zone defense after halftime, scoring on its first 10 possessions of the second half.
The win moved Arizona to 13-4 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12 heading into a home weekend against Oregon and Oregon State. Cal dropped to 5-11 and 0-4.
While Jeter led the Wildcats, Brandon Williams had 16 points and Justin Coleman added 13. UA shot 57.7 percent and held Cal to just 34.4 percent from the field.
The Wildcats hit their first eight shots in the second half and didn’t commit a turnover in the first six minutes. They took a 61-42 lead when Brandon Randolph made a driving layup with 14:01 left.
Coleman hit a 3 in the corner after a turnover by Cal’s Andre Kelly, putting the Wildcats up by 22, and Arizona kept a comfortable lead the rest of the game.
Coleman wound up playing 32 minutes after his previously dislocated left shoulder was hit late in the Wildcats’ win at Stanford on Wednesday. He did not practice Thursday for precautionary reasons, but returned to practice Friday and played fully on Saturday.
The Bears welcomed leading scorer Paris Austin back to the rotation after he missed two games with an ankle injury, but Austin had only eight points on 2-for-8 shooting. Justice Sueing led the Bears with 24 points.
In the first half, Arizona went through a mystifying eight-minute spell without a field goal against Cal’s zone defense, but still took a 40-28 halftime lead.
The Wildcats took a 14-10 lead when Williams hit a driving layup with 14:52 left in the half, and while Jeter and Coleman each hit two free throws to keep UA ahead, the Wildcats didn’t hit another shot from the field until Coleman hit a 3-pointer with 6:33 left.
During that dry spell, the Wildcats missed all six shots they took and turned the ball over seven times. The Wildcats had eight turnovers for the half but Cal also had eight, while Arizona managed to outrebound the Bears 18-14 and held them to 32.1 percent shooting.