Nov. 14, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - Derrick Williams recorded 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Solomon Hill added 10 points and eight rebounds to lead Arizona to a season-opening 90-42 win over Idaho State Sunday afternoon in McKale Center.
UA bullied over-matched ISU for most of the day with head coach Sean Miller using his typical breakneck substitution pattern and defensive pressure to force the Bengals into shooting just 28 percent from the field.
"I think our defense has to do a lot with the final score today," said Miller. "We got a lot of energy from the guys coming off the bench, and it's good to see that our starting point on defense this season is a lot higher than it was last season. We play our best offense when our defense is together."
As a team, Arizona showed off a newly polished touch from the 3-point arc, knocking down 11 of 21 attempts behind the line. Overall from the field, the Cats shot a blistering 60 percent.
Mid-way through the first half, play remained close with Williams providing much of the early scoring. With the score knotted at 13, the Cats began to pull away propelled by a 3-pointer from Brendon Lavender.
After the trey, the Cats would erupt for a 30-4 run over the final 12 minutes of the half, employing a stout defensive presence coupled with a frenetic fastbreak pace on offense to pull comfortably ahead.
During the run, Kyle Fogg, Jamelle Horne and Williams accounted for much of the damage, teaming for 25 points in the first half. Idaho State was held scoreless over the final 11 minutes of the half, missing on its final 12 attempts.
"This was certainly an interesting game," added Miller. "In the first eight minutes, Idaho State had some good execution, and they had that one big that we didn't really have an answer for. Going into the second media timeout, I think we had the game in favor of about two points."
Arizona converted nine points after forcing the Bengals into nine turnovers in the first half. UA also got after it on the boards, recording six of the offensive variety for eight second-chance put backs.
"I thought we played really hard, we went hard on the boards, said Williams. "Just great effort and that's what coach was looking for. I think it's a little bit of it being opening night for us. We just wanted to come out and show them what we can do."
Deividas Busma provided the scoring effort for Idaho State, tallying 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
With the win, Arizona goes to 1-0 while Idaho State falls to 0-2 on the year.
UA has now won nine consecutive home debuts dating back to the 2002 season. Additionally Miller is 2-0 in season openers with the Wildcats.
Next up for the Wildcats is a home date with New Mexico State on Thursday, Nov. 18 with tipoff at 6:30 p.m. MST. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona.