November 8, 2018 / 4:51 AM / 11 days ago

Arizona cruises past Houston Baptist in opener

EditorsNote: updates fourth and sixth grafs with revised stats

Arizona guard Brandon Randolph led a balanced scoring effort with a career-high 25 points, and Duke transfer Chase Jeter had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 90-60 season-opening victory over Houston Baptist on Wednesday night at Tucson, Ariz.

The Wildcats, playing with a different starting lineup from last year, entered this season unranked for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

Arizona held Houston Baptist to 31.9 percent shooting from the field, including 22.7 percent from 3-point range.

Jalon Gates led the Huskies with 15 points. Oliver Lynch-Daniels had 10 points with six rebounds, and Phillip McKenzie grabbed nine rebounds.

The defensive effort helped make up for Arizona converting 6 of 22 shots from beyond the arc and committing 13 turnovers.

In the second half, the Wildcats shot 57.6 percent from the field, made 15 of 18 free throws and committed only two turnovers.

True freshman Brandon Williams had 13 points for Arizona, and Samford transfer Justin Coleman scored eight.

Arizona never trailed after scoring the first seven points of the game and taking a 13-4 lead nine minutes into game.

Houston Baptist’s Edward Hardt made a put-back with 6:47 left in the first half to cut the deficit to 19-14, but Arizona then pushed its lead to as many as 11 points before the half.

Arizona led 33-24 at halftime behind 10 points from Randolph on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and the same mark on the free-throw line.

He made one of Arizona’s only two 3-pointers in the half. The Wildcats attempted eight and they shot a cold 37.5 percent from the field.

Arizona was able to establish control early by holding Houston Baptist to 23.5 percent from the field, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range, by halftime. The Huskies had only three assists with six turnovers at that time.

The Wildcats were worse, with 11 turnovers to go with four assists by halftime.

—Field Level Media

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