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Arizona leans on freshmen Mannion and Nnaji to beat Long Beach State

Arizona guard Nico Mannion (1) draws the foul on Long Beach State center Trever Irish in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Long Beach State 104-67. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nico Mannion scored 22 points, Zeke Nnaji added 21 and No. 14 Arizona pulled away in the second half to beat Long Beach State 104-67 on Sunday night.

Arizona (6-0) struggled in the first half for a second straight game, trailing 31-30 with less than three minutes remaining before rallying for a 38-33 halftime lead. Nnaji and Mannion both had 11 points before the break.

The Wildcats trailed at halftime just three nights prior on Thursday before laboring to a 71-64 win over South Dakota State. This game wouldn’t be nearly as a close.

Arizona hit 13 of its first 16 shots in the second half, including six of eight from 3-point range, to push the lead to 72-44 with ten minutes left and cruise to the win.

The Wildcats shot 67% from the field in the second half and scored 66 points.

Max Hazzard finished with 14 points, all in the second half. Jemarl Baker Jr. and Josh Green both added 11.

Michael Carter III led Long Beach State (2-4) with 11 points. Max De Geest and Joshua Morgan both added 10.


Arizona: The Wildcats have been a little inconsistent while leaning on three freshmen — Green, Nnaji and Mannion — for much of the production. The good news is they’re still undefeated and trending in the right direction.


Arizona hosts Pepperdine on Thursday.


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