ARIZONA BASKETBALL

No. 17 Arizona opens with a 42-point win over Nicholls State

Nov 7, 2022, 10:07 PM
Head coach Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats reacts during the first half against the TCU Horned ...
Head coach Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats reacts during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University on March 20, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Azuolas Tubelis scored 23 points and No. 17 Arizona went on a massive opening run to begin its second season under coach Tommy Lloyd with a 117-75 rout of Nicholls State on Monday night.

The Wildcats won 33 games and went to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 last season, earning Lloyd national coach of the year honors.

Lloyd retooled his roster after losing three players to the NBA, adding several veteran transfers to go with a core of Tubelis, Kerr Kriisa, Oumar Ballo and Pelle Larsson.

The Wildcats hit the hardwood pounding, repeatedly working the ball inside to score or kick it out to open shooters against the Colonels. Ballo added 18 points, helping Arizona set a school record with 71.7% shooting from the floor against the reigning Southland Conference regular-season champions.

The Wildcats scored 16 straight points during a game-opening 30-4 run, went 11 of 18 from 3-point range and had 30 assists to win their 20th consecutive home game.

It started with Tubelis.

Lloyd wanted the big man from Lithuania to be tougher this season and he took it to heart — and to the Colonels.

Tubelis had 11 points and three assists in Arizona’s big opening run, leaving Nicholls State and coach Austin Claunch struggling to find a way to stop him.

The 6-foot-11 forward used his added strength to bully the Colonels inside and his agility to knife through them, scoring 20 points by halftime. He finished with seven rebounds and six assists.

Tubelis also helped anchor a big Arizona lineup that made it tough for Nicholls State to get any good early looks at the basket. The Colonels missed 13 of their first 14 shots before getting a few to fall.

Arizona led 59-37 at halftime.

Micah Thomas led Nicholls State with 20 points.

BIG PICTURE

Nicholls State had the worst possible start in one of college basketball’s toughest road venues. The Colonels managed to put up a fight after the early gut punch, something that should help them once the Southland Conference schedule rolls around.

Arizona did what was expected, overwhelming Nicholls State early and dominating inside to win its 16th straight season opener.

UP NEXT

Nicholls State plays at Wyoming on Wednesday.

Arizona hosts Southern on Saturday.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Basketball

Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis grabs a rebound during the second half of the team's NCAA college b...
Associated Press

No. 6 Arizona basketball keeps Washington State at arm’s length in road win

Azuolas Tubelis had 18 points and 12 rebounds and No. 6 Arizona beat Washington State 63-58 on Thursday night.
2 days ago
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley calls a play in a 77-69 loss to USC at Desert Financial Arena...
Jake Anderson

ASU men’s hoops needs strong season finish to make NCAA Tournament

ASU men's hoops finds itself in the best position to make the NCAA Tournament since 2019-20, but will need a strong finish in order to do so.
6 days ago
Arizona Wildcats center Oumar Ballo #11 dunks the ball during the first half of a basketball game b...
Arizona Sports

Arizona leaps from 11th to 6th in AP men’s basketball rankings

The Arizona Wildcats are trending up in The Associated Press men's basketball poll after a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools.
6 days ago
UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) drives past Arizona guard Courtney Ramey during the first half of an...
Associated Press

No. 11 Arizona men’s hoops notches upset win over No. 5 UCLA in Tucson

No. 11 Arizona upset No. 5 UCLA, 58-52, in a physical, low-scoring game played Saturday afternoon before a sellout crowd at the McKale Center in Tucson.
6 days ago
Southern California guard Boogie Ellis (5) drives on Arizona guard Kylan Boswell during the first h...
Associated Press

No. 11 Arizona basketball uses different starting 5 in win over USC

Azoulas Tubelis had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and No. 11 Arizona used a revamped lineup to beat Southern California 81-66 on Thursday night.
10 days ago
Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski, right, shoots against Pepperdine’s Nate Gehring during the...
Austin Scott

Former Gonzaga star Przemek Karnowski joins Arizona basketball coaching staff

Former Gonzaga standout Przemek Karnowski reunites with Tommy Lloyd as a graduate assistant to help Arizona big men.
9 days ago
No. 17 Arizona opens with a 42-point win over Nicholls State