Arizona defeats Belmont 81-64
Despite a valiant effort from Belmont late in the second half, Arizona held on for a 81-64 win at EnergySolutions Arena.
With 5:35 to go, Arizona had a comfortable 64-47 lead. Then, in a span of seven seconds, Belmont cut that lead to 11 on a 3-pointer from Ian Clark, and then a steal and three from J.J. Mann.
But, Arizona’s most efficient half — and maybe game — of the season was just too much. The Wildcats shot 67.9 percent in the second half and 5-of-8 from three.
Many had pegged Arizona as a likely upset victim because of Belmont’s stance as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation. But, the Wildcats put that idea to rest pretty quickly.
The Bruins shot 8-of-27 from deep despite a strong second half where they shot 54.2 percent from the field.
Ian Clark, the nation’s leading 3-point shooter coming in, had 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Kerron Johnson added 22 for Belmont.
Late in the second half, Belmont cut into the Wildcats’ large lead with a succession of 3-pointers, but Arizona didn’t let it really affect them.
Or the fact that 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski fouled out with 3:56 to go.
Trailing 64-43 with 7:27 to go, the Bruins went on a 8-0 run to cut it to 13 points. At the back end of the run, Belmont scored six points in seven seconds when Clark hit a three, J.J. Mann stole it and hit a three of his own.
Mark Lyons led Arizona with 23 points.
Stay tuned for more from tonight at Dailywildcat.com.