No. 10 Arizona cruises past Long Beach State 94-72
Defense and three-point shooting has been the key to Arizona’s third victory of the season, dropping Long Beach State 94-72 in McKale Center Monday night.
The Wildcats forced the 49ers into 17 turnovers, which led to 20 Arizona points the other way. LBSU point guard Mike Caffey and the 49ers’ leading scorer, was held to three points on seven shots for the game.
After opening up a 31-16 lead in the first half, Long Beach was able to use their speed to their advantage and closed the gap a bit before Arizona senior Kevin Parrom hit two three-pointers to start another run for the Wildcats that would end in a 50-37 halftime lead.
UA point guard Mark Lyons struggled in the game, not scoring his first basket until less than a minute remained in the first half, and never really got going, thanks to his three fouls and four turnovers.
Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski used his size to his advantage, blocking four shots and nabbing five rebounds, in addition to his seven points. A Tarczewski block on a shot would have cut the Arizona lead to a manageable 11 points for LBSU, but instead sparked a seven-point run by the Wildcats that extended the lead to 66-46 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The 49ers never recovered. Long Beach turned the ball over 10 times in the second half, and despite making five three-pointers in the second half, were unable to recover.
Freshman forward Brandon Ashley led the team in scoring, with 20 points in his first start of the season, and also pulled down 10 rebounds, making his first start also his first double-double of his career. Grant Jerrett, who he replaced in the starting rotation, finished the game with five points.
Arizona reached both its highest offensive and defensive outputs of the season, reaching the 80 point mark with over six minutes to go in the game.