No. 9 Arizona dismantles Northern Arizona 93-50
The No. 9 Arizona men’s basketball team hadn’t played for 10 days coming into Wednesday’s game against Northern Arizona, but the rust was nowhere to be found as the Wildcats jumped out to a quick lead and controlled throughout to win comfortable at the McKale Center 93-50.
Arizona (4-0) opened the game with a 9-0 run on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the field and after the UA took a 20-9 lead midway through the first half, the game was never again within single digits. NAU still had a puncher’s chance at half, trailing just 39-26, but Arizona dominated the second half.
The Wildcats outscored NAU 54-24 in the final period and limited the Lumberjacks to9-for-29 shooting. Arizona, on the other hand, was efficient inside and lethal from deep throughout the game, going 30-for-52 overall and they shot 21-for-28 from three.
Seniors Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill lead the Wildcats with 18 and 17 points respectively, and eleven Wildcats scored in the game. Sophomore center Angelo Chol had a career high 10 points in 15 minutes of play and the UA bench outscored NAU 40 to 20.
But the silent star of the game was sophomore Nick Johnson. The young shooting guard was a big factor in Arizona’s quick start, scoring five early points. He finished with 10 in the game on 3-for-3 shooting, but made his real impact in other ways.
Johnson dished out seven assists, grabbed three rebounds and caused havoc all night on defensive end. Johnson was the primary defender on NAU’s Gabe Rogers, the Lumberjack’s leading scorer coming into the game with 16.6 points per game. Rogers was limited to just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting, including 1-for-5 from three.
The Wildcats dominated inside the glass as well, outrebounding NAU 39 to 27 and had a 10 point advantage inside the paint. Freshman forward Brandon Ashley led Arizona with 11 rebounds, but UA’s leading scorer had just two points on 1-for-4 shooting.