3 big takeaways from No. 7 Arizona's win over Arizona State in Tempe

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-04 20:21:42-05

Thousands of red-clad Wildcat fans chanted "U of A" as the final seconds ticked off the clock at Wells Fargo Arena.

The No. 7 Arizona Wildcats overcame a sloppy first half to pull away from archrival Arizona State for a 73-60 win in Tempe on Saturday, earning them a share of the Pac-12 regular-season championship with Oregon.

It marked the first time in 12 years that Arizona beat the Sun Devils in football and swept them in men's basketball in the same season, and it gave Sean Miller his fourth Pac-12 title in eight years as UA head coach.

Here are three big takeaways from the Wildcats' win.

1. Good, bad and ugly from Lauri

Star 7-foot Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen has drawn comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki due to his ability to score inside as well as from beyond the arc. But Markkanen has struggled from 3-point range in recent games, and those struggles continued Saturday as he missed all five of his attempts vs. ASU, air-balling three of them.

On the plus side, the projected 2017 NBA Lottery pick made a difference in other ways. He scored nine of his 10 points in the second half (after sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble), grabbed a total of nine rebounds and made a pair of monster blocks that helped Arizona set the tone late in the game. 

2. Wildcats too much on the glass

ASU is the most undersized team in the Pac-12, and Sun Devil fans were reminded of this once again Saturday. The Devils hung tough for the first 20 minutes and trailed just 30-29 at halftime, but Arizona pulled away largely because they outrebounded ASU 28-10 in the second half and 50-27 for the game.

Freshman Rawle Alkins reeled in a career-high 15 boards for the Wildcats, who outscored ASU 14-3 in second-chance points. Senior Obinna Oleka grabbed 11 rebounds for ASU, but it wasn't nearly enough for the Devils. 

3. Justice continues shooting lights out

Coming in to Saturday's game, ASU's Kodi Justice had averaged 20.5 points per game and made 11 of 18 3-point attempts in his previous three games. The junior guard picked up where he left off Saturday as he hit 4 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc and scored a team-high 17 points before fouling out.

The good news for the Sun Devils is Justice, who leads the team in 3-point percentage, will be back next year -- and ASU will have a chance to make a run in next week's Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas if Justice continues with the hot hand.