TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona men’s basketball team opened exhibition play at McKale Center Sunday afternoon with a 110-78 win over Team Georgia.
After a close first few minutes, the No. 11 Wildcats (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) opened up a 24-point lead, before ending the half with a 58-38 lead. Channing Frye’s game-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the first half, and 16 rebounds paced UA in the win.
“I thought Channing was a big factor on the glass for us, and defensively he did a good job of challenging from the inside,” said Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson.
Arizona opened the second half with an 8-0 scoring run, before Team Georgia answered with a 15-4 spurt of its own, which cut UA’s lead to 17.
Salim Stoudamire scored 21 points off the bench, knocking down three three-pointers, despite the experimental three-point line used in international play.
UA point guard Mustafa Shakur dished out a game-high 11 assists, against only one turnover.
All 11 Wildcats who played contributed at least two points and a rebound to Arizona’s victory.
Arizona, ranked second in the nation last year with 78.6 free throw percentage, converted 24 of 29 charity attempts, matching the same 82 percent the team shot in last Sunday’s Pepsi Red/Blue game.
Ivan Radenovic was just one point away from a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Defensively, Arizona forced 17 turnovers and nine steals, as Team Georgia shot just 33 percent from the field.
“We need to rebound and deny passes better,” said Stoudamire. “We had fun and played together unlike last year. We know what we can do but we just have
to do it.”
Brian Thompson and Eddie Elisma each scored 21 points and racked up 11 rebounds to lead Team Georgia.
UA will next play Thursday, Nov. 11 when the Wildcats will host Sonoma State. Following the contest against Sonoma State, Arizona will honor former UA All-American Mike Bibby by retiring his No. 10 jersey.