No. 10 Arizona crushes Long Beach State 94-72
By JOHN MARSHALL
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Brandon Ashley dominated his teammates in practice last week, which, at a school such as Arizona, is saying something.
He didn't stop once the next game came along.
Earning a start because of his hard work in practice, Ashley made the most of it, scoring 20 points while hitting all six of his shots and grabbing 10 rebounds to help the No. 10 Wildcats run over Long Beach State 94-72 Monday night.
"We want to reward players that are working hard and doing it every day," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "You get 20 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes, he was the best player on the court tonight."
Arizona certainly had the best time on this night.
The Wildcats (3-0) quickly turned what was supposed to be their toughest challenge of the early season into a rout, racing out to a 22-point lead in the first half.
Arizona started making shots right after the opening tip and barely stopped, shooting 53 percent while making 9 of 19 from 3-point range and 25 of 35 free throws.
They got contributions from up and down the lineup.
Ashley, one of Miller's four heralded freshmen big men, scored the Wildcats' first seven points and made 8 of 9 free throws.
Kevin Parrom was perfect on five 3-point attempts, scoring 15 points. Fellow senior Solomon Hill also had 15 points, making all 11 of his free throws. Nick Johnson added 12 points, five assists and three steals.
The Wildcats outscored Long Beach State by 16 inside and got 16 more points on 13 offensive rebounds, outrebounding the 49ers 41-23.
OK, so maybe the perimeter defense is still a problem.
Still, with nine days off between games, this was a nice way to go into the break.
"I thought tonight there were times in the first and second halves where it was our best play of the season," Miller said. "We looked how you hope we would look."
Long Beach State (1-3) managed to keep it close against then-No. 11 North Carolina in its last game, down by just one at the half.
The 49ers never stood much of a chance against Arizona, unable to stop the Wildcats while falling into a deep early hole or able to shoot their way back despite making 14 3-pointers.
"Defensively, we were just a nightmare tonight," Long Beach State coach Don Monson said. "We have to go back to square one."
Long Beach State's first game against Arizona since 1995 comes in the middle of a difficult stretch in the schedule.
The 49ers opened the season with a win over North Alabama, then lost at Southern California and by 15 to the Tar Heels.
After leaving Tucson, Long Beach State will play road games against No. 6 Syracuse, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 11 UCLA before starting the Big West season on Dec. 29.
It's no surprise; the 49ers play one of the nation's toughest nonconference schedules pretty much every season, a concept Monson brought with him from his Gonzaga days.
And they figured to give Arizona its first real test of the season.
With a talented mix of young players and some steady veterans, the Wildcats opened the season with a nine-point win over Charleston Southern and rolled over Texas-El Paso last Thursday.
Arizona survived Charleston Southern's quickness and out-bigged the tall Miners, grabbing 20 more rebounds.
Long Beach State is a combination of the Wildcats' first two opponents, the two-time defending champions in the Big West and the favorite to win it again.
A stiff challenge?
No. Arizona turned it into a rout right away.
Ashley, who replaced fellow freshman Grant Jerrett in the starting lineup, got things rolling, scoring on a three-point play and hitting a jumper. He had 11 points by halftime, hitting all three of his shots and all five free throws, showing no sign of first-start jitters.
"My teammates were looking for me and they put me in great position to score," Ashley said. "With that happening, I didn't feel the need to force up any shots."
The rest of the Wildcats weren't missing much, either, building a 39-17 lead.
Even when the 49ers went on a 10-0 run midway through the first half, Arizona barely blinked, leading by 13 at halftime after hitting 17 of 27 shots, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
Arizona never let the 49ers get back in it in the second half, either.
The Wildcats shut down Long Beach State on the perimeter early in the half, Parrom hit a couple of 3-pointers early and Hill scored on a three-point play to put Arizona up 67-48 with just over 14 minutes left.
Arizona cruised from there, allowing the 49ers to hit six straight 3-pointers in the closing minutes without the lead dipping below 20.
"Arizona has the ingredients to be a very good team next month if they keep improving," Monson said. "They shoot the ball, they have great length, good size and good guards. They have all the components they need to keep coming together and really make an impact."
Updated November 20, 2012
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show