Wildcats start season well

Arizona used a strong first half to defeat NAU 87-70 Sunday night.

Arizona fans did not know what to expect going into Sunday's season opener against Northern Arizona.

After a strong first half and a second half in which the UA coasted, fans now have an idea about the UA team that defeated NAU 87-70 Sunday night.

"I thought we had a great first half," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "We had only 4 turnovers, and to have that many against a quality opponent, like Northern Arizona, shows our versatility on offense. I especially give credit to Nic (Wise), especially in the transition."

Arizona was able to build a solid lead in the first half, but was a bit careless with the ball in the second.

"Our second half was definitely not as good as the first," Miller said. "We turned the ball over more than the first half, and Northern Arizona was able to get in some good plays from Cameron Jones, who led them with 29 points.

"We will definitely address our second half play, especially with so many teams in our schedule with players like Jones to lead them."

ONe major reason why the Wildcats were able to win the game was because Wise demanded so much respect and put the game at the pace he wanted to.

"Nic is really the heart and soul of our team," Miller said. "For any Wildcat fan, Wise definitely shows what a college basketball player is really all about. He didn't have to play today, he could have said that he wouldn't have put up a good performance with the injury, but he wanted to come out and lead our team. We really did need him and he came out and played hard."

Wise had major help from freshman Solomon Hill, who led the team with 17 points.

"Solomon can do a lot for us," Miller said. "He is a good passer, and a good ball handler, which is very good for us. He is also one of our best offensive rebounders.

"Right now we are playing him in two positions, and that's hard for anyone, let alone a freshman, but by the end of the season I think we will see him as one of our best freshman players."

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