Arizona was able to defeat East Tennessee State on Saturday. Read on for numerous notes and observations on how the Wildcats got it done.
kicked off the Diamond Head Classic with a convincing 73-53 victory over East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers fell behind the Wildcats in the early moments of the ballgame and were never able to recover. ETSU was unable to keep the game competitive and any time the Bucs would attempt to make any sort of run, Arizona would clamp down and keep them at a comfortable distance.
The Wildcats' competition will only get tougher in Hawaii as they weren't challenged very much on Saturday night. Led by one of its prized freshman, Arizona was able to pull off this victory in dominating fashion.
Brandon Ashley was the only Wildcat to reach double figures with 16 points and his 10 rebounds gave him his second double-double of his young college career. Ashley was an efficient 5-for-8 from the field and showed his physical side once again, which led to seven trips to the foul line.
Ashley may have been the only Arizona player to surpass the double-digit mark, but UA didn't need anyone else to carry the scoring load as the Wildcats presented a pretty balanced offensive attack. Every scholarship player on the roster scored and everyone in the starting lineup put up seven points or more.
The Wildcats only shot 42.4 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc, but were able to make it up in other areas. Arizona out-rebounded ETSU 46-24 and collected 13 of its boards on the offensive end of the floor. UA's domination in the paint was one of the primary factors in the Wildcats' blowout victory.
Arizona did a good job of distributing the ball around and it led to 15 assists as a team. Compare that to just five from the Bucs and it's not difficult to see why they struggled to stay close to the Wildcats throughout the contest.
Domination in the paint wasn't just shown in the scoring or rebounding department. The Wildcats blocked three shots as a team, all of them coming from freshman big men.
Defense continues to be one of the strengths of Arizona. East Tennessee State shot just 31 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from outside the three-point line. The Buccaneers did a solid job of taking care of the ball, committing just 13 turnovers, but they had difficulty locating quality shot attempts mainly due to UA's superior defensive effort.