HONOLULU -- The Arizona Wildcats put away East Tennessee State early, then spent much of their first Diamond Head Classic game resting starters and experimenting with lineups while winning 73-53.
The Wildcats kept the undermanned Buccaneers scoreless for the first 3:45 of Saturday’s game, taking an early 11-0 lead. While UA showed some sloppiness with 18 turnovers, the Wildcats never had to worry much the rest of the game.
UA held ETSU to just 31 percent field goals shooting and outrebounded them 46-27.
Brandon Ashley led the Wildcats with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Jarvis Jones had 21 to lead all scorers.
The win moved Arizona to 10-0 and put the Wildcats into the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic tonight at 9:30 p.m. UA will play the winner of Saturday’s late matchup between host Hawaii and Miami (Fla.).
ETSU dropped to 2-8.
UA coach Sean Miller played all 10 of his active scholarship players early and put walk-on Max Wiepking in the game with 4:20 left.
Freshman guard Gabe York took advantage of extra playing time by hitting two three-pointers over his eight minutes. He had not made a three since Nov. 28 against NAU, and did not play at all in three games earlier this month.
After UA took a 38-17 lead at halftime, ETSU went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to cut UA’s lead to 42-28 but UA has answered with a 9-2 run of its own. The Wildcats lead 51-30.
In the first half, the Wildcats dominated inside – and just about everywhere else – while taking a 38-17 halftime lead.
Ashley scored nine points over the first seven minutes, while center Kaleb Tarczewski had six points that included a pair of thundering dunks. Guard Nick Johnson also had seven points and four rebounds while celebrating his 20th birthday.
Arizona shot 44 percent from the field while holding ETSU to 22 percent shooting, including just 2 of 13 three-pointers. Arizona also outrebounded the Bucs 25-14.