Notebook: UA vs. NAU

Arizona easily defeated NAU on Wednesday night. Read on for numerous notes on how the Wildcats got it done.

Arizona stormed out to an early lead and never looked back, demolishing Northern Arizona 93-50 on Wednesday night. UA now stands at 4-0 after the victory and continues to look like an improved squad as each game passes. The seniors continue to run the show while each member of the supporting cast continues to find ways of contributing.

The 43-point margin of victory was the largest through the first four games and it showed that the Wildcats have progressed quite a bit in just a few weeks. They shot well, played good team basketball and performed at a high level on the defensive end of the floor. Four games in and Arizona continues to get better and that's a positive sign for a squad with so many new faces.

  • One of those newcomers, senior Mark Lyons, continues to be arguably the best player on the squad. The transfer from Xavier shot 5-for-8 from the floor (3-for-4 from three-point range) on his way to an 18-point evening. Lyons continues to assert himself as a scorer and has been able to do so with positive results.

  • If Lyons isn't the best player on this year's Wildcats' squad, those honors would have to go to fellow senior Solomon Hill. The forward took it upon himself to most of his damage in the scoring department on Wednesday, putting up 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc as well.

  • Sophomore Nick Johnson scored 10 points and distributed the ball well to his teammates, dishing out seven assists. Johnson shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor and his passing was rather impressive, but he also put together a strong performance on the defensive end of the floor, collecting four steals. Johnson's ability to contribute in other ways than just scoring has been one of the primary reasons for UA's gradual improvement of over the first four games of the season.

  • Big man Angelo Chol reached double digits with 10 points and added four rebounds in just 13 minutes of action. The sophomore is normally known for his defense, but his offense has shown progression and Wednesday night was a perfect example of that.

  • Freshman big man Brandon Ashley has been a consistent force in the paint. While he scored just two points, he controlled the glass by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Ashley is Arizona's most consistent player on the boards and provides UA with a physical presence in the paint that it did not have a season ago.

  • The Wildcats continue to shoot well from beyond the arc and Wednesday night was one of the better showings over the first four games. UA connected on 57.1 percent (12-for-21) of their three-point attempts, getting contributions from several players. Lyons, Hill, Kevin Parrom and Jordin Mayes each hit multiple shots from long range.

  • Arizona's defense was too much for NAU to handle. The Lumberjacks shot just 36.4 percent overall while knocking down less than 30 percent of their shots from outside the three-point line. UA also forced 15 turnovers out of NAU while limiting the Lumberjacks to five second-chance points and a mere 18 points in the paint.

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