HALFTIME: No. 6 Arizona leads No. 11 Belmont 32-20
SALT LAKE CITY — The sixth-seed Arizona Wildcats went into halftime leading Belmont 32-20, powered by a 11-2 run to close out the half.
Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona’s 7-foot freshman, took advantage of Belmont’s height discrepancy, and he came out of the gate aggressive on Belmont’s small front line, getting to the free throw line on the first drive, and following that up with a block on the other end. He finished with six points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.
The key for Arizona, though, was holding a hot-shooting Bruins squad to 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) shooting to start the game and 7-of-27 overall (25.9 percent).
Belmont star Ian Clark, the nation’s leading 3-point shooter coming in, had 11 points and hit 1-of-5 threes.
The Wildcats opened the game on a 14-4 run, but the Bruins bounced right back with a 10-2 run of their own to keep things close. Arizona forward Solomon Hill had two quick fouls in the early going, but that didn’t stop head coach Sean Miller from playing him for 13 minutes. Nick Johnson had two fouls as well.
Hill picked up his third foul with 2:59 to go, and Miller replaced him with freshman Brandon Ashley. Hill had three points and four rebounds before coming out, while Ashley tallied four points and a game-high six rebounds.
As a team, the Wildcats outrebounded Belmont 27-9, but lost the turnover battle with nine, leading to 11 points for the Bruins.