Postgame Analysis: East Tennessee State

The Arizona Wildcats defeated the East Tennessee State Buccaneers 73-53 on Saturday night. Read on to see who the player of the game was, which moments were key in the victory, and more.

Player of the Game:

#21 Brandon Ashley – The freshman had seven of the first thirteen points for the Wildcats en route to opening up a big lead. After the first few minutes of the ball game, the result was never in question and Ashley was a key to the Wildcats jumping out to the hot start. He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night for a double-double.

Key Moments:

  • With Arizona jumping out to an early 23-8 lead, Nick Johnson grabbed a loose ball and rushed down the court. There wasn't a defender between him and the basket, but he had a few Buccaneers trailing him. Johnson threw caution to the wind and threw down a 360-degree dunk to give Arizona a seventeen-point lead.

  • East Tennessee State had come out gunning in the second half and was cutting the lead down. However, Solomon Hill wasn't going to let that happen. He grabbed a defensive rebound and drove down the court, finishing with a hard layup at the rim. He was fouled on the play and completed the three-point play to give Arizona a nineteen point lead.

    General Thoughts:

    It is often hard to come out for the opening tip and play well enough to jump out to a big lead on the road. Mix in that the Wildcats were playing in a different time zone and it makes their hot start even more impressive. However, after Johnson's flashy dunk, Arizona started playing sloppy knowing that it was the better team with a big lead.

    To its credit, Arizona regained composure and extended the lead, grabbing an easy win in the first game of the tournament. The Wildcats played like the better team throughout the game and it showed why they are one of the top teams in the country. Even with the short scoring drought, they were able to maintain a sizable lead and put the game away due to great defense and rebounding.

    Sean Miller Quotable

    "I don't really want to even use the word `frustrating," Miller told the AP. "It's more disappointing to be so far along in a tournament like this and we can't play without turning the ball over.

    "And if we keep doing it, we're not going to win. It's amazing that we're 10-0 without an ability to handle the ball and take care of it. I think we're averaging almost 15 turnovers a game, and that's a lot for a good team."

    Wildcat Quotable

    "I think we started off the game real well," Ashley said. "In the second half, we kind of let off. We definitely should have played better in the second half. We had way too many turnovers. I honestly think we got a little complacent in the second half.

    "We didn't play as hard or as well as we should, so that's definitely one thing we can focus on, coming out and handling business like we should. And once we do that, I think we'll do all right."

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