Saturday’s opening game of the Diamond Head Classic was about as easy as expected for Arizona, as it defeated East Tennessee State 73-53.
Brandon Ashley started the scoring and Kaleb Tarczewski added two straight buckets before a shot by Mark Lyons gave Arizona the quick 8-0 lead. Ashley was then able to pick up a three-point play to extend it to 11 before Jarvis Jones put the first points on the board for East Tennessee State. Ashley answered quickly and John Walton had a response of his own with a three-point play. Grant Jerrett then scored his first points of the night and Solomon Hill added a three-pointer to put Arizona up 18-5.
After a three-pointer by Lester Wilson, Lyons hit one of his own before Ashley and Johnson had consecutive baskets to put the UA up 25-8 with about ten minutes left in the first half. Jones then hit his second basket of the night, but Johnson followed with two free-throws. Yunio Barrueta came off the bench and hit a three before a bucket by Jerrett two minutes later made it 29-13 with about four minutes left in the half.
Jones hit two free-throws out of a timeout, but Kevin Parrom hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up 17. Johnson then hit a three-pointer to extend that lead to 35-15 with around two minutes left in the half. Shortly after Hill hit one of two free-throws, Jones was able to hit a jumper. However, Tarczewski got an open dunk off a great pass by Hill to put Arizona up 38-17 going into the half.
Ashley hit two free-throws only ten seconds into the second half before Jones hit a runner to get the two points back. Ashley then scored again and a few minutes later Jones made two at the free-throw line. Jones then added two more at the line before Wilson hit a three and Jones hit a jumper to get ETSU going. Arizona ended the run, however, with a dunk by Tarczewski that was matched by a jumper from Jones to make it 44-30 Arizona.
Parrom hit a layup soon after, Hill added a three-point play, and Parrom scored off an offensive rebound to quickly put the Wildcats up 51-30 with about 12 minutes left in regulation. Thirty seconds later, Jones hit a three-pointer. Ashley then hit one of two free-throws to make it 52-33 with a little over ten minutes left.
Ashley got to the line again and made both of his attempts before Jerrett hit a three from the top of the arc to extend the UA lead to 24 points. Angelo Chol got his first points of the night with two free-throws, but Jones got his 21st point of the night with a three. Mario Stramaglia then forced a turnover and scored, as Arizona called timeout up 59-38 with 7:30 left.
Two minutes later, Lyons hit a deep three-pointer and Gabe York added one of his own to extend the lead to 65-38 before Jordin Mayes hit one as well to force a timeout and put the Wildcats up 68-38 with under five minutes left and put a stamp on it.