Arizona did what it was supposed to, defeating Texas Southern 93-72 to open the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Kaleb Tarczewski scored and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added two free-throws. Deverell Biggs put Texas Southern on the board before Stanley Johnson made a three. Hollis-Jefferson then scored and Brandon Ashley got two consecutive hoops to put the Wildcats up 13-2.
T.J. McConnell made two free-throws and Malcolm Riley scored. Dusan Ristic then got a hook shot before Chris Thomas got a lay-in. A jumper by Johnson proceeded to give Arizona a 19-6 lead with 11:58 left in the first half.
Riley scored and Tarczewski did as well. Riley then made a free-throw and Biggs hit a jumper.
Hollis-Jefferson and Johnson made two free-throws each before Gibbs scored again. McConnell and Thomas exchanged baskets and Ashley made a shot in the paint to put the Wildcats up 29-13.
McConnell and Hollis-Jefferson scored before Tonnie Collier made a three. Parker Jackson-Cartwright also made a three and Gibbs responded with a layup. Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson got a basket each, as a shot by Gibbs had Arizona up 40-22 with 3:50 remaining in the half.
Hollis-Jefferson scored and Biggs made a free-throw. Johnson got a basket before David Blanks made two from the line.
Collier got a three and Ashley made two free-throws. Hollis-Jefferson dunked it and Blanks hit two free-throws.
McConnell scored and Gibbs made a free-throw. Hollis-Jefferson made two before Thomas scored and McConnell hit a shot at the buzzer to give the Wildcats a 54-33 lead at halftime.
Thomas scored to start the half and Johnson answered. Riley then made a free-throw and Ashley scored. After a basket by Biggs, Tarczewski made two free-throw and Thomas hit one as Arizona led 60-39.
Tarczewski made two free-throws and Thomas did as well. Hollis-Jefferson and Gibbs exchanged hoops before a three by Johnson brought Arizona’s lead to 20.
Collier made a free-throw and Tarczewski hit two. Gibbs then scored and a three by Johnson gave Arizona a 79-57 lead with 8:05 left.
Blanks made two free-throws and Thomas got a basket. Hollis-Jefferson then picked up a three-point play, but Thomas scored again.
Ashley made a jumper and Hollis-Jefferson added two free-throws before two from line by Gibbs and a three by Johnson had Arizona up 89-65 with only minutes left.