HALFTIME: No. 10 Arizona 50, Long Beach State 37
Defense and three-point shooting has been the key to Arizona building a 50-37 lead over Long Beach State in McKale Center, behind 12 points from sophomore guard Nick Johnson.
Brandon Ashley recorded his first start in an Arizona uniform and started the game on fire, scoring the Wildcats first five points and recording an offensive rebound in the process.
For the half, Ashley has 11 points and four rebounds.
Arizona was able to open the game up in the early going, establishing a 31-16 lead with 10:29 remaining in the first half. The lead began to build when senior Kevin Parrom came off the bench and hit two open three-pointers. All of Parrom’s nine points tonight are from behind the arc.
In addition to sharp three-point shooting, the Wildcats also made a living at the free throw line, shooting 84.6 percent on 11-of-13 in the half.
Defensively, the Wildcats have held Long Beach State guard and leading scorer Mike Caffey scoreless on four shots. Caffey also has two of Long Beach State’s seven first half turnovers
Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski has seen his share of early season struggles, usually pulled in favor of Grant Jerrett or Brandon Ashley late in halves, but tonight Tarczewski has had a coming out party of sorts, blocking a shot and scoring five points over the 49ers’ smaller centers.
Long Beach was able to pull within 12 points, 45-34, with an 11-5 run in the middle of the half, thanks to LBSU guard Peter Pappageorge, who leads the 49ers with 11 points.
Sharp shooting from beyond the arc again lifted the Wildcats to a 15-point lead with just over one minute remaining.
Mark Lyons scored his first points of the half with less than a minute left until intermission, but has only taken one shot. Lyons has also dished out three assists and turned the ball over twice.