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Arizona overpowers Oral Roberts

Mark Lyons, the hero in Arizona’s come-from-behind victory over fifth-ranked Florida last Saturday scored 17 points and dished out seven assists in an encore performance as Arizona raced past Oral Roberts at home Tuesday.

Summer workouts and conditioning are paying off for Solomon Hill and the Arizona Wildcats.

Arizona (9-0, 7-0 home) remained perfect on the season by opening the second half on an 11-0 scoring run to push its 14-point halftime advantage to 56-31 on a 3-Pointer by Grant Jerrett.

Jerrett scored a career-high 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting while fellow freshman forward Brandon Ashley added 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Oral Roberts (5-5, 3-2 away) were no match for fourth-ranked Arizona. Playing without their 7-foot center who has been sidelined with a foot injury, the Golden Eagles were outrebounded by nine boards and shot just 38.3 percent (23-for-60) from the floor. Meanwhile, Arizona was red hot from the floor, connecting on 34-of-59 field goals (57.6%), which included eight makes on 16 attempts from behind the three-point arc.

The Wildcats led 10-2 early and were never truly threatened in the game. A trey by Lyons with 2:12 to play in the opening frame gave Arizona its largest lead of the half at 39-22. Warren Niles, who finished with a game-high 22 points, responded with a 3-Pointer of his own seconds later. However, it was the first field goal of the game for ORU’s leading scorer as Niles shot just 2-for-9 from the field in the first half.

Leading 45-31, the Wildcats forced back-to-back turnovers on ORU’s first two possessions after intermission. Arizona turned those turnovers into points, first an off-balance jumper by Solomon Hill in the key and then a lay-in by Ashley off a Hill assist. Arizona continued its scoring run with a low-post scoring move by Jerrett, an inbounds alley oop play from Hill to Ashley, and then a trey by Jerrett to push Arizona’s advantage to 25 points.

Hill was a stat-sheet filler against ORU. The senior finished with 12 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. Similarly, sophomore shooting guard contributed 12 points, four steals, three rebounds and three assists.

The Golden Eagles did not score their first basket of the second half until the 16:26 mark. ORU’s struggles continued as the Wildcats maintained a 20-plus scoring advantage most of the way until closing strong to finish off ORU, 89-64.

The Arizona freshmen were impressive as Jerrett, Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski combined to make 15-of-18 field goals. Gabe York, Arizona’s fourth freshman in the Class of 2012, also saw action for the first time in the last four games. York had an assist and then capped the rout with a high-flying alley-oop dunk in the final minute of action.

Next Up: Arizona travels to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete in the Diamond Head Classic where a potential championship game with No. 18 San Diego State awaits. First up though is a first-round tilt with East Tennessee State on Dec. 22. Tip time is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST.

Follow me on Twitter @GaryRandazzo, and follow the website @WSRArizona.

  • I was glad to see that we got above 80 points again. I was beginning to think I'd never have tacos again.

    Bear Down Arizona

  • Gary Randazzo

    I've received multiple texts regarding Arizona's point production. Now doubt it's good to see Arizona take care of business on both ends of the floor. One thing I like about this year's Arizona team is the scoring is up, but not at the sacrifice of the defense.

    WSR Publisher National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Football Writers Association of America U.S. Basketball Writers Association

  • When are our bigs going to learn to catch the ball inside and get up a clean shot? Undersized players constantly force them into ugly attempts, if they don't strip them or cause them to do something dumb with the ball first. The size has clearly been a major boost in terms of defending the hoop and controlling the glass, but there's no way this team will win six straight in March/April unless the guys learn how to catch that ball with their back to the bucket, make a quick move, and get up an easy shot. That goes for all four players. Still plenty of time, but people are focused on how 'great' we are right now and seem to be conveniently ignoring a glaring weakness, or at least our single-greatest 'needs improvement' aspect at the moment.

    Playsignature image

    God Hates Arizona Football.

  • Eric, I have also noticed that they seem to bobble the entry passes a lot too... Once they get more accustomed to the speed of the game their catch and initial moves to the rim will be smoother... But as you say it is still early...

    This post was edited by Pin High 16 months ago

    BEAR DOWN boys... The best is yet to come....

  • Freshmen

    No matter what the recruiting services said, these guys are still developing. Chol is still behind the Sophomore curve because of his relative lack of experience.

    They just need time. I think the good news is that unless a miracle happens, none of them will get drafted this year.

    I want no part of that Florida team again, but that was great precursor to he tourney. Especially in later rounds, we've generally seen great inside play.

    "Arizona has no tradition" - Bill Walsh "We have a tradition of kicking Bill Walsh's ass" - Teddy Bruschi

  • Sadly, none of our bigs are good low post players. They need to learn the back to the basket game that AAU ball doesn't give them. I was happy to see Ashley snap out of his offensive funk. Jerrett is finding his niche as a spot up shooter and will help us immensely as we face more zone defenses. Kaleb and his constant foul trouble is troubling. Has he fouled out in less than 20 minutes in his last 3 games? We are deep but we need him in the game and not worried about fouls while he's in there.

  • Gary Randazzo

    All true, but none of this should come as a big surprise. Developing college-level over the shoulder scoring moves takes a lot of time. Anthony Davis last year at Kentucky wasn't awesome because he could score in the post. He was awesome because his athleticism was off the charts for his height, was a great shot blocker and could dunk on anyone.

    I know Miller says he's going to check the tape, but bottom line is 4 out of Zeus' 5 fouls last night were a result of him either being over aggressive, or more specifically slow to react. There was one second half foul (I think his 4th of game) where ORU got the o-board and Zeus turned around to find the offensive player already rising into his chest. Bad call or not, that's going to draw a whistle 90% of the time.

    As for the others, Ashley and Jerrett are both being coached to evolve into face up players and that's what you want in a 4-around-1 offense. Zeus does need to improve his footwork a bit, but really needs to focus on developing 1-2 consistent scoring moves this freshman season and leave the rest until the off season.

    WSR Publisher National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Football Writers Association of America U.S. Basketball Writers Association

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