Arizona senior forward Ryan Luther, a graduate transfer from Pittsburgh, had 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field to lead the Wildcats past Cal Poly 82-61 in Tuscon, Ariz. Sunday afternoon.
Two other transfers — Chase Jeter from Duke and Dylan Smith from North Carolina-Asheville — were also major contributors. Jeter finished with 16 points and six rebounds and Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman guard Brandon Williams recorded a game-high eight assists with no turnovers in 31 minutes for Arizona (2-0). His assist total almost matched that of Cal Poly, which had nine with 17 turnovers.
Arizona committed only seven turnovers and shot 45.7 percent from the field. The Wildcats also won the rebounding battle 40-27.
Cal Poly (1-1) was led by Marcellus Garrick’s 16 points, but it took him 16 shots to get that much. Garrick and the Mustangs’ leading scorer, Donovan Fields, struggled shooting 9-of-32 from the field.
Luther had 10 points in the first half to lead the Wildcats to a 41-34 lead at that point. He made 4 of 6 shots, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range against Cal Poly’s matchup zone, to help set the tone before halftime.
The Wildcats proved effective against the zone, making 9 of 23 shots from 3-point range.
Arizona went on a 22-2 run — including 20 unanswered points — to build a 63-39 lead with 11:32 left in the second half. In that game-changing run, Luther and sophomore guard Brandon Randolph (who finished with 10 points) each made two baskets, and Smith drilled two 3-pointers.
Smith, who made 4 of 7 from 3-point range, entered the game missing 13 straight shots from beyond the arc dating to last season.
The Mustangs went scoreless for 7:22 in Arizona’s run until Fields made a jumper with 11:02 remaining. That snapped a string of 10 missed shots for the Mustangs. Cal Poly also had three turnovers in the run.
Arizona next hosts UTEP on Wednesday while Cal Poly plays at Sacramento State on Friday.
—Field Level Media