Tucson, AZ – Coming off of a surprising three game losing streak in the Bahamas, the Arizona Wildcats returned to Tucson and looked to bounce back against the Long Beach State 49ers on Wednesday night. The Wildcats got off to a quick start and never looked back. Long Beach State struggled as a team in the first half and only shot 37 percent from the field. Even though Long Beach State struggled to hit shots, Arizona’s defense deserved some credit, especially considering how many points they have been giving up lately. Arizona had six players in double figures and won handily 91-56.
DeAndre Ayton continued to be the Wildcats’ most consistent player and completely dominated the first five minutes of the game. He put up a quick six points and three rebounds. To add to this, he had a great pass from the block to the opposite wing and found Parker Jackson-Cartwright for three. Ayton had a great first half with 10 points and eight rebounds without missing a shot from the field. He didn’t do much in the second half with the Wildcats having such a big lead and finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists while shooting 6-of-6 from the field, including a 3-pointer
Brandon Randolph has been working his way into the rotation after starting the season off with a concussion and earned his first career start after scoring 17 points in the Wildcats’ last game against Purdue. Randolph struggled to get shots to fall (3-of-10) but definitely looked confident out there.
Allonzo Trier got back to being efficient as he started off the year. Trier ended up with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Trier has proven that he is able to score in many different kinds of ways throughout his college career. Even though he doesn’t have the burst to blow by defenders, he’s able to get to the rim and finish after contact. He’s also able to pull up for a few midrange shots or step out and knock down a few three-pointers. Even though he finished with 15 points, it felt like a quiet night for him.
Long Beach State didn’t have many bright spots this game. Two of their best players struggled in the first half. Bryan Alberts, a transfer student from Gonzaga, came into the game averaging 12.9 points while shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc. He has decent size for his position and is able to get his shots up easily because he is usually able to shoot over the defender. Alberts finished the game with 12 points while shooting 3-of-9 from distance.
Gabe Levin was averaging 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds but only had four points (2-of-6 FG) to go along with five rebounds in the first half. He wasn’t able to get anything to go his way in the first half and it seemed to frustrate him. Levin started to force a couple of shots and passes that allowed the Wildcats to get out in transition. He showed that he was able to get to the rim quite a bit but struggled to finish at the rim in the half. Levin looked much better in the second half and ended with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Arizona will be traveling to UNLV for their match-up on Saturday as they look to get another win while Long Beach State heads back home to host Fresno State.
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