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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


HALFTIME: Arizona leads FDU 51-24

In an expected course of events, the No. 5 ranked Arizona men’s basketball team leads Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast), 51-24 as halftime begins in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Wildcats let no time go to waste, striking right from the beginning and combining for four points and two rebounds in their first 45 seconds of play. Fairleigh Dickinson refused to simply roll over and began to close the gap early on.

After finding themselves up by six points in the early minutes of the game, the Wildcats watched their lead dwindle as Fairleigh Dickinson tied the game at 8 points a piece with 16:47 left in the first half. At the second media timeout, Arizona held on to a seven-point lead, ahead 20-13.

The UA seized an opportunity to break the game open and with 9:11 left were in control of a 14-point lead. By the time 4:30 remained, Arizona held a commanding 38-19 lead. At one point, the UA had a 30-point lead.

Junior point guard T.J. McConnell orchestrated an explosive offense, shooting 56.3% from the field. He enters halftime with a team-leading five assists.

Junior shooting guard Nick Johnson continued to display vital leadership in the first period of tonight’s contest and compiled four points, two rebounds, a block, and a steal in his first five minutes of the game. Johnson, a Gilbert, Ariz. native ended the half with eight points overall to go along with three rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and an assist.

Sophomore forward Brandon Ashley continued to show signs of improvement after enjoying early success in his first three games this season. Ashley converted all of his first three attempts, putting up six points, three rebounds, and a steal over his initial seven minutes of action. He combined for six points, five rebounds, and one steal.

Sophomore guard Gabe York returned to form after remaining uncharacteristically quiet last game. York compiled nine points and a rebound in 13 minutes of play.

Sophomore center Kaleb Tarczewski continued to show consistency in his free throw shooting and sunk his first six attempts from the free throw line.

After starting the year off exceeding everybody’s expectations, freshmen forward Aaron Gordon finally showed he was human. Gordon, who was shooting field goals with 58% accuracy over his first three games, took a step back when he missed his first four attempts of the night. Despite starting off slow, Gordon eventually snapped back into shape and finished the period with a team-leading five rebounds.

Freshman forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson however, stepped up in Gordon’s absence and contributed with a team-leading 11 points, four rebounds, an assist, and a block in the half.

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