Arizona improved to 3-0 with a 95-65 win over Sacred Heart on Friday night. Here's a closer look at what happened:
Player of the Game:
Dusan Ristic - Arizona got a solid effort from the big man against Sacred Heart. Ristic finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down a career-high 15 rebounds. While his defense wasn't the best, it didn't need to be in the blowout win and his five offensive rebounds were more than enough to overcome some of the struggles that he had on the other end of the court.
* Arizona seemed to learn from the mistakes that plagued it early on in the CSU Bakersfield game as the Wildcats started the game with a sense of urgency on the floor and were able to jump out to an early 8-2 lead in the first four minutes. Arizona spread the love around with Lauri Markkanen scoring four points and Ristic and Rawle Alkins both adding a basket.
* The Wildcats continued to pile on as the first half went on. Leading just 14-10, Arizona started an energy filled 23-5 run that effectively ended the game before both teams headed into the locker room. The Wildcats did it with a series of defensive plays turning steals into high-flying dunks. When all was said and done, Arizona headed into halftime with a 49-25 lead that it would not relinquish.
Sacred Heart isn't a good team and Bakersfield would probably beat them by double digits, but there was one thing that can be taken away from this game. Arizona came out ready to play from the opening tip and played full throttle the entire night. In the past, Arizona has had a tendency to play down to teams like this in past years, often winning by 15 to 20 points and pulling away midway through the second half.
This Arizona team played without starting shooting guard Kadeem Allen for a majority for the game, is missing a key member in Allonzo Trier, and is essentially down to seven scholarship players. Through all of that, the Wildcats managed to take an easy win on a Friday night and put it away early. That may have been the most impressive aspect of the win.
Sean Miller Quotable:
''November is a month of learning,'' Miller said. ''Players are learning, they're learning each other, they're learning our system, but the coaching staff is learning on what kind of combinations of players work well, who can do what, what we need to teach and do a better job of.''