Arizona opened an early lead and never relented as it defeated Oral Roberts 89-64 Tuesday night at McKale.
Mark Lyons started the scoring with a three-pointer and Nick Johnson added a basket to give the Wildcats a quick 5-0 lead. Shawn Glover put up the Golden Eagles’ first points, but Brandon Ashley matched it and Solomon Hill then added a three-point play. After the teams exchanged baskets, Arizona went into the media timeout at 15:20 up 12-4.
Damen Bell-Holter got on the board for Oral Roberts with two free-throws, but Johnson answered with a three-pointer. Glover scored in the paint and this time Lyons hit one from behind the arc in response. After Bell-Holter and Glover scored consecutive hoops, Grant Jerrett hit a three-pointer from the corner, as Arizona built a 21-12 lead with 11:18 left.
Warren Niles scored his first points of the game with three free-throws to cut the Arizona lead to six before a three by Jerrett extended it back to nine with 8:32 left. A basket by Lyons brought the lead to double digits and a Tarczewski dunk forced a timeout with Arizona up 28-15. Out of the timeout, Johnson hit a three from the corner and the Wildcats kept rolling.
Lyons added two free-throws shortly after and Glover ended the UA run with an offensive rebound and putback to bring the score to 32-20 with 4:46 left in the first half. Hill scored out of a timeout to get the points right back and a jumper by Jerrett put the lead at 16. After a bucket by the Golden Eagles, a three-pointer by Lyons gave Arizona its biggest lead of the night, but Niles matched it to make it 39-25 with under two minutes left in the half.
Lyons caught an alley-oop dunk shortly after, but was called for a technical due to taunting. Oral Roberts nailed both free-throws and Johnson shortly made two of his own to put the Wildcats up 43-27 with about a minute left in the half. Glover scored on a jumper the next time down court, but three consecutive blocks for Arizona led to a layup for Johnson. A jumper by Niles ended the half with Arizona leading 45-31.
Hill started the scoring for Arizona in the second half and Ashley followed with his second of the game to put the score at 49-31. Jerrett was able to score in the paint not too long after to give Arizona its biggest lead of the game less than three minutes into the second half. Ashley was able to get a dunk off an inbounds play before Jerrett hit a three-pointer that forced Oral Roberts to call timeout.
Steven Roundtree ended the run coming out of a timeout, but Jerrett responded quickly with a basket. After another basket by Roundtree to cut the lead to 58-35, Niles hit a three-pointer. The next time down court, Hill picked up a three-point play before Tarc added a basket in the paint to put Arizona up 25 points.
After two free-throws by the Golden Eagles, Ashley scored close to the basket. Bell-Holter then hit a jumper, but Mayes was able to cut to the basket and answer with a layup. Korey Billbury then hit a jumper and a Glover jump brought the Golden Eagles to within 67-49 with about nine minutes left in the second half.
Angelo Chol scored his first points of the game the next trip down court and a three-point play by Lyons put the UA lead right back at 23. After two free-throws by Oral Roberts, Glover hit a baseline jumper as Arizona led 72-53 with 8:01 left.
The teams exchanged baskets before Niles hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 76-58 with about five minutes left. A baseline dunk by Ashley put Arizona up by 20, but Niles hit another three to bring it right back down to a 17-point lead.
After an exchange of baskets, Ashley made two free throws to end any hope of an Oral Roberts comeback.