Luther, Jeter lead Arizona basketball past Cal Poly
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan Luther scored 17 points and Chase Jeter added 16, helping the Arizona Wildcats to an 82-61 win over Cal Poly on Sunday.
Dylan Smith came off the bench for 12 points — making 4 of 7 3s — and Arizona scored 21 points off 17 Mustang turnovers. The Wildcats (2-0) got hot in the second half after holding only a seven-point lead at halftime.
Guard Marcellus Garrick led Cal Poly (1-1) with 16 points.
The Wildcats went on a 20-0 run early in the second half to put the game away. Smith sank a pair of 3s in that stretch as Cal Poly went more than seven minutes without a point.
A short jumper from Donovan Fields ended the scoreless spell for the Mustangs with 11:02 left, but they trailed 63-41.
Luther’s layup gave Arizona its first double-digit lead of the game, 49-39, with 16:55 to play. Arizona went up by as many as 32 points before the game ended.
The Wildcats, in an effort to render Cal Poly’s zone defense less effective, pushed the tempo and moved the ball around on offense with quickness.
Numerous drives to the basket led to kickouts for open shots, but Arizona led only 41-34 at halftime and never led by more than eight points in the first half. Luther, a graduate transfer from Pitt, had 10 points to lead Arizona, with Garrick making 3 of 5 3s in the half to lead the Mustangs with 11. Smith just missed a 3-point attempt that rattled out at the halftime buzzer, but he and Luther hit two 3s each in the half.
Wildcats forward Ira Lee returned after being suspended for the season opener and scored six points with a team-high eight rebounds in 16 minutes.
Cal Poly won’t play on its home court until Dec. 8, with the Mustangs’ next six games on the road. At least all of the games are up and down the West Coast, in California, Washington State and Oregon.
Arizona will get a lot of national exposure in the non-conference season, with five upcoming games on the ESPN networks including three at the Maui Invitational November 19-21.
Former Wildcats star and 17-year NBA veteran Richard Jefferson served as analyst on the Pac-12 Network broadcast of the game, his on-air debut, and was greeted by several fans before the game.
Cal Poly plays at Sacramento State on Friday.
Arizona hosts Texas El-Paso on Friday.