Arizona capped its pre-holiday slate by beating Long Beach State 94-72 in Tucson. The Wildcats (3-0, 3-0 home) outscored LBSU 30-13 in the first 13 minutes of the second half to build an insurmountable 80-50 lead before cruising down the stretch.
Senior forward Solomon Hill's 15 points Monday gave him 1001 points in a Wildcat uniform.
Brandon Ashley led all scorers with 20 points, earning the first double-double of his career as he also pulled down 10 rebounds. The freshman forward was stellar in his first start as a Wildcat. Ashley scored the game’s first seven points as the Wildcats built an early 9-2 lead. He also had a block that led to an alley up dunk by Nick Johnson off an assist from Mark Lyons.
Johnson, who scored 12 points, earned a steal and a dunk to put Arizona up 31-16 with 10:29 to play in the opening frame. He then scored on a dribble drive during a 8-1 scoring run to help the Wildcats lead 39-17.
LBSU (1-3, 0-0 Big West) mounted a furious rally to quickly trim Arizona’s lead to 39-27 with 5:15 to go. However, the Wildcats matched the 49ers to close out the half and lead 50-39 at the break.
Kevin Parrom, who scored nine points in the first 20 minutes on three treys, finished a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc to close with 15 points.
Solomon Hill also scored in double figures for Arizona, scoring 15 points while pulling down six rebounds to go along with four assists. With 4:20 to play in the game, the first of Hill’s two free throw makes gave him 1000 points in his college career.
Arizona opened the second half with Lyons picking up his third foul. However, the Wildcats were not deterred as Hill first hit Parrom for a wide open 3-Pointer before grabbing a defensive rebound and going coast to coast for a score and foul. Hill’s free throw capped the three-point play and put Arizona ahead, 67-46.
The Wildcats continued to extend their lead.
Angelo Chol scored on an offensive rebound and put back to push the advantage to 78-50. On Arizona’s ensuing possession, a Hill assist to Ashley capped Arizona’s 30-13 second-half scoring surge to put the Wildcats comfortably ahead 80-50 with 6:41 remaining.
LBSU hit 14-of-32 three-point attempts Monday, but couldn’t match Arizona’s 53.6 percent shooting for the game (30-for-56 field goals). The Wildcats also hit nine treys of their own while sinking 25-of-35 free throws.
James Ennis led the 49ers with 17 points. Peter Pappageorge had 16 points while Kris Gulley and Deng Deng added 12 and 10 points apiece.
Arizona enters the Thanksgiving Holiday unbeaten and off to its fourth-straight 3-0 start to a season under Sean Miller. The Wildcats next play Nov. 28 at home against Northern Arizona.
Follow me on Twitter @GaryRandazzo, and follow the website @WSRArizona.