Arizona uses all 40 minutes to defeat Chaminade 75-64
The exhibition season is about learning, and in 40 minutes against Chaminade, Sean Miller learned that he will have to be patient with his team this season.
“It certainly feels like it’s the first time for everything,” Miller said. “That’s what the exhibition season is about."
Despite the noticeable growing pains, Arizona men’s basketball was able to come away with a 75-64 win over Chaminade on Sunday night at McKale Center to wrap up its exhibition schedule.
The atmosphere got a bit tense as Chaminade led 40-32 a few minutes into the second half, but the Wildcats outscored the Silverswords 43-24 the rest of the way. The score remained close throughout the game as neither team had a lead of more than 10 points until Arizona went up 73-62 with a minute to play.
Freshman Brandon Williams led the Wildcats with 23 points on 9-16 shooting after finishing the first exhibition game with 14. Brandon Randolph added 19 points on the night – the sophomore had 20 points in the first exhibition game.
“Both guys we really believe in as shooters and they combined for 42 points, so they were very efficient,” head coach Sean Miller said. “Both of those guys are very talented and now it’s up to us to continue to develop them.”
Arizona had another successful night from behind the arc as the team combined to hit 11-25 3-pointers (44 percent). The ‘Cats have made a total of 22 3 pointers over two exhibition games.
Chase Jeter returned to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s exhibition game against Western New Mexico with an undisclosed injury. The 6-foot-11 junior came off the bench and contributed just one point but had 6 rebounds in 17 minutes of court time. The injury has caused the center to miss practice time over the last week and Miller said it limited Jeter’s efficiency against Chaminade.
“His injury is improving and whatever percentage was a few days ago, he’s that much closer towards being 100 percent,” Miller said. “He’s a really important part of our team… I wouldn’t judge him on tonight’s performance.”
Williams started the night hot for Arizona, scoring 14 of the team’s first 19 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting (4-4 from 3).
“I’m just taking open shots, shots that I’m capable of making… if I’m open I’m gonna shoot it,” Williams said.
However, there are plenty of things the Wildcats will need to correct before the season opener in a few days as the team committed 16 fouls, 13 turnovers and gave up 36 points in the paint.
"We’ll address those things. We have a group of guys that are easy to coach when it comes to learning,” Miller said.
The waiting game is close to over now as the Wildcats will open the regular season on Wednesday against Houston Baptist at 7:00 p.m.
Follow Alec White on Twitter