HONOLULU - In the big picture of the three-game Diamond Head Classic, the Arizona Wildcats did exactly what they needed to do Saturday.

In a 73-53 win over East Tennessee State, the Wildcats rested their starters often, so much so that nobody on the team played more than 24 minutes.

That could help tonight when the Wildcats (10-0) take on either Miami or Hawaii in the semifinal game that promises to be tougher.

But there was a somewhat troubling undercurrent that surfaced again Saturday that could hurt the Wildcats in the tournament's next two games.

They coughed up 18 turnovers - 12 in the second half - against a team that had beaten only one Division I opponent this season.

"For us to be the best team that we can be, we can't be like that," UA coach Sean Miller said. "We had nine turnovers from our point guards. I'm not saying it was all their fault, but if we keep doing that, the game (today) is not going to be close."

Starting point guard Mark Lyons matched his four turnovers with four assists while making just 3 of 10 field goal attempts, and backup point guard Jordin Mayes had five turnovers with three assists.

Guard Nick Johnson celebrated his 20th birthday with seven points, five rebounds and two assists - while taking one loose ball in for a 360-degree dunk - but it was the forwards who carried the Wildcats.

While Kaleb Tarczewski dunked his way to eight points, Brandon Ashley collected 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ashley had nine points in the first seven minutes alone, when the Wildcats tore apart the Buccaneers.

"It was just running our sets and plays," Ashley said. "They had me in the right position to score and I just executed on the plays. They had me in the center of the key where there wasn't necessarily a lot of defense."

That wasn't the only area in which the Wildcats played well. UA held ETSU to just 31 percent field goals shooting and outrebounded them 46-27.

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. He had not made a three since Nov. 28 against NAU,and did not play at all in three games earlier this month.

"I've been doing everything I possibly can," York said. "Obviously we have some great players and coach (Miller) knows what he's doing. I'm going to have to work for my minutes."

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 led 51-30.

In the first half, the Wildcats dominated inside - and just about everywhere else - while taking a 38-17 halftime lead.

Ashley scored his nine points over the first seven minutes, while center Tarczewski had six points before halftime that included a pair of thundering dunks. Johnson also had seven points and four rebounds.

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.


• What: No. 4 UA vs. Miami or Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic

• Where: Honolulu

• When: 9:30 p.m.

• TV; radio: ESPN2; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM