At one point late in the first half, Long Beach State had four baskets. Arizona’s Gabe York had four 3-pointers.
That was one way to measure the domination that Arizona fans had expected, but didn’t get, from the sixth-ranked Wildcats in the opener against Cal Poly on Friday.
This was the fun-and-gun Cats, overpowering defensively and stuffing the highlights with alley-oop dunks, burying the 49ers with a 44-18 first half en route to a 91-57 victory at McKale Center on Monday night.
“Our team was ready to play,” said coach Sean Miller. “I felt like we improved from Game 1 to Game 2 in a number of different areas.”
The game started with a lob from T.J. McConnell to Kaleb Tarczewski for an easy two, and the half ended with an Aaron Gordon tip-in. In between, Arizona asserted its size and length, harassing LBSU all over the court. If McKay LaSalle hadn’t hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, the 49ers would have set an arena record for worst shooting in a half.