Arizona started fast, imposed its will, and never looked back as it defeated Long Beach State 91-57 Monday night at McKale.
Kaleb Tarczewski put Arizona on the board and David Samuel hit a free-throw for Long Beach State’s first points. Aaron Gordon got a basket off an offensive rebound and Dan Jennings made one of two from the line for the 49ers. Gordon proceeded to score off a lob from T.J. McConnell and Tarczewski then scored for the second time. A shot by Caffey made the score 8-4 in favor of Arizona with 15:50 left in the first half.
Out of the timeout, Gabe York made consecutive three-pointers to put Arizona up 14-4 with less than 13 minutes left in the first half. After a free-throw by Christian Griggs-Williams made a free-throw, Gordon scored again and put Arizona up 16-5 with 11:36 left in the half.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made one of two from the line and Samuels matched it shortly after. Jennings scored off an offensive rebound and Nick Johnson then got his first points off a lob to put Arizona up 19-9. Johnson made two more free-throws and a three by Gordon gave Arizona its biggest lead of the night, 24-9.
Nick Shepherd tried to get something going with a floater, but Brandon Ashley responded with a jumper. Caffey then made two free-throws to cut Arizona’s lead to 26-13 with a little under five minutes left, but York hit his third three-pointer the next time down court. Johnson then got a dunk on a break and LBSU called timeout down 31-13.
Out of the timeout, Hollis-Jefferson got a dunk off a turnover and Ashley was able to spin in the lane and make a layup to put Arizona up 35-13 with about three minutes to play in the half. Griggs-Williams stopped the drought with a layup of his own, but York made yet another three-pointer the next time down court.
Ashley made a layup seconds later and York found Johnson for a lob to put Arizona up 42-15 with 1:21 left in the half. McKay LaSalle scored his first point of the game on a three and Gordon scored on a rebound right before the buzzer to put the Wildcats up 44-18 at the half.
Kris Gulley made a three early in the second half and Gordon made a free-throw. Jennings responded with two from the line, but Tarczewski and Gordon scored consecutive hoops. Jennings made a basket of his own before Tarczewski went one of two from the line. After a jumper by Caffey, Johnson made two free-throws and Jennings made one as Arizona led 52-28 with about 15 minutes left.
Johnson got another lob and LaSalle was able to pick up a three to cut the lead to 23 less than a minute later.
Jordin Mayes scored his first basket of the season and Ashley followed with one of his own. After two free-throws from Jennings, Hollis-Jefferson found McConnell for a three. Jennings then scored again, but Ashley responded as well. Branford Jones scored the next time down court and Ashley had yet another answer, putting the Wildcats up 65-38 with over 10 minutes left in regulation.
Jennings scored his 14th point of the night and after two Ashley free-throws, Griggs-Williams picked up a bucket. Hollis-Jefferson got a three-point play not long after, Tarczewski made two from the charity stripe to put Arizona up 74-42 with 7:17 left.
LaSalle and York exchanged a pair of free-throws before Ashley scored on the offensive glass. Jennings made two free-throws and Hollis-Jefferson made one from the line the next time down court. Shepherd hit a jumper from the baseline seconds later, but it obviously did not matter, as Matt Korcheck got a dunk and Mayes hit two consecutive baskets to put the Wildcats up 85-48 with a few minutes to go.