Arizona backs up No. 1 ranking with rout of New Mexico StateDec 12, 2013 - 6:26 AM Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Ashley scored 15 points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc to lead No. 1 ranked Arizona to a 74-48 win over New Mexico State.
Kaleb Tarczewski scored 14 points while freshman Aaron Gordon chipped in with 11 for the Wildcats (10-0).
Fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 points off the bench for Arizona, which is ranked No. 1 for the first time since March of 2003.
"I was playing hard like I always do, just giving it my all," Hollis-Jefferson said.
Daniel Mullings was the only player for New Mexico State (7-5) in double figures with 18 points.
"We're 10-0 and we're getting ready to play one of the biggest games on our schedule at Michigan where we have great respect for them and we'll have to be at our very best on Saturday," said Arizona head coach Sean Miller.
The Aggies led 11-9 early in the first half when Tarczewski had back-to- back dunks which started a 9-0 run, and the Wildcats did not surrender the lead from that point.
NMSU closed to within one later in the half, but Arizona went on an 8-0 spurt after a pair at the line from Tarczewski for a 29-20 advantage with just over three minutes left.
Hollis-Jefferson made a highlight-reel dunk late in the half after he made a cross-over dribble and barreled into the lane, dunking over Renaldo Dixon. Hollis-Jefferson was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to give the Wildcats a 32-24 lead at the half.
The second half was all Arizona as the offense got rolling.
Mullings hit two free throws and the Wildcats proceeded to use a 12-3 run to gain separation with a 46-31 lead.
Arizona maintained a 13-point advantage and put the game away when McConnell hit a jumper that started and 11-0 run for a 69-45 lead. Nick Johnson, Arizona's leading scorer, capped the spurt with a layup after he went soaring in for an emphatic slam on the previous play.
Arizona outrebounded the Aggies 38-22 ... Johnson finished with eight points ... NMSU has dropped four in a row with a meeting at Drake looming on Saturday ... Arizona travels to Ann Arbor for a meeting with the previously-ranked Wolverines three days from now.
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 48
Dec 11 11:02 PM
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 24
Dec 11 9:58 PM
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 11 9:08 PM
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