Arizona cruises past Texas Southern to win NCAA tournament opener
And it wasn’t even that close.
The Wildcats, the Pac-12 regular season and tournament champions, opened the game on a 15-2 run en route to a 93-72 blowout win on Thursday in Portland. Their 54 first-half points were the most they'd scored in the opening 20 minutes all season. At that point, even SI’s Seth Davis felt like the game was over.
Arizona. Sharpie.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 19, 2015
Arizona shot 69 percent (20-for-29) from the floor in the first half and finished the game at 60 percent (32-for-53). Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the way with a career-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds, and all five Wildcats starters scored in double figures. Freshman phenom Stanley Johnson dropped 22 on 8-for-11 shooting, Brandon Ashley scored 14, Kaleb Tarczewski added 13 and T.J. McConnell chipped in 12.
Texas Southern, which won the SWAC, shot well, making 47% of its field goal attempts and scored 72 points against a team that averages giving up only 59 all season. Arizona dominated the paint, however, winning the rebounding margin 35-19.