TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona's Soloman Hill scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half as No. 9 Arizona pulled away from Northern Arizona to post a 93-50 victory at McKale Center Wednesday night. Six different Wildcats combined for 12 three-pointers in the contest.
"We knew they were a good three-point shooting team," said Head Coach Jack Murphy. "We cannot take away everything especially not with a team that is that talented. We decided to take away the paint and they just hit a lot of shots. They did a great job of making a lot of shots."
The Wildcats (4-0) held NAU to just 11 points over the first 12 minutes of the second half to extend a 13-point lead at the half to as high as 49 points. Overall, the Lumberjacks were out-scored 54-24 in the second half. NAU (2-4) shot just 31 in the second half while the Wildcats made shots at a 60 clip, including 7-of-11 three-pointers in the second half.
"They were not missing and they were hitting like they were in the first half," said Gaellan Bewernick. "We really did not have an answer for them. We wanted them to shoot and they were just on fire tonight."
"Gaellan does a great job when he is on the floor," said Murphy. "He is one guy that can stand up to these guys in strength and tenacity. He is comparable to the Pac-12 level players."
UA shot 57 percent for the game as four players hit for double figures in the contest. Guard Mark Lyons scored a game-best 18 points and Hill finished with 17. Nick Johnson and Angelo Chol both added 10 for the Wildcats.
Arizona jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes but the Lumberjacks settled down to stay in the game. The Wildcats led by as many as 18 points but a late run cut the deficit to 13 points entering the locker room.
Arizona shot 55 percent in the first half and had five three-pointers. Lyons led the team with eight points.
Russell and Rogers each scored seven points each in the opening 20 minutes.
The Lumberjacks return home to face Sam Houston State on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. for the home opener and first game back in the Walkup Skydome for the Lumberjacks.
"We cannot let this game linger," said Murphy. "We have a game in the Skydome on Saturday that we have to compete in and get a victory."
The game will be the first collegiate game back in the Skydome since the $26 million renovation. The Skydome will feature all-new lower level chair back seating and a new court. The first 150 fans will receive the official "I Back Jack" t-shirts, in honor of Murphy's first home game as the head coach of the Lumberjacks.
The game will also feature the debut of Louie's Fun Zone. Similar to NAU FanFest for football, all Saturday men's basketball games will feature the all new Louie's Fun Zone. The Louie's Fun Zone will feature basketball hoops, inflatable games, face painting, and much more. Louie's Fun Zone will open one hour prior to tip-off and will close 5 minutes prior to tip-off.
The first 500 students will receive "NAU Lumberjack Foam Noodles " to help create the ultimate home court advantage as the NAU student section has expanded to the areas behind both baskets.