Arizona defeated Rice 66-49 Thursday night at McKale Center to move to 2-0 on the season.
The season has started exactly the way the Arizona Wildcats wanted it to start, as Arizona has won its first two games without yet having a complete effort.
The Wildcats shot well from the field and Thursday's game was a good display of how Arizona is going to score its points.
The Wildcats finished with four players in double figures and although Nic Wise is going to have a lot of pressure on him throughout the season, getting relatively large scoring efforts from the other players on the team will obviously help matters.
Whether it was the defense or the fact that Rice simply is not a good shooting team, the Owls were held to less than 30 percent shooting.
For the most part, the Wildcats made sure that the majority of shots Rice took were contested. After the game against Northern Arizona, one of the bigger concerns was giving up the baseline. However, against Rice, the UA did a solid job of blocking off the baseline and forcing everything into the middle of the paint, where the rest of the defense was waiting.
Thursday was a good indication of what this team can do when the veterans step up and take control of the game.
Rice was able to play well for a five-minute stretch, but Jamelle Horne and Nic Wise made sure that it did not become much more than that.
Wise finished with seven assists and was able to calm the game down in order to put the Wildcats in the best position to win. In addition, Horne made numerous big plays in a game in which Rice did not have anybody to contain him.
Arizona will now travel to Maui to face a solid Wisconsin team and it will give us a much better indication of just where this team is.
As of now, there is not much to be disappointed about, but it is hard to get a true indication of where the team is until it goes up against a squad that is going to be among the better teams in its conference.
Arizona cruises past Rice
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