A stifling Arizona defense held Fairleigh Dickinson to 31 percent shooting, and the Wildcats manufactured the stops into transition opportunities in what became a 100-50 rout on Monday in McKale Center.
After a bit of a sleepy start for the Wildcats (4-0) that had the game tied at 10 just five minutes in, the substitution of freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ignited Arizona. Jefferson, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, attacked the rim with a few swooping layups in traffic and then grabbed energy-inducing offensive boards to wake the Wildcats up. The result was a 41-14 run to give UA a 51-24 lead at halftime.
Freshman Aaron Gordon recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds while fighting struggles from the field. He connected on 3-of-11 field goal attempts.
With its size, Arizona won the rebounding battle 54-25 and along with scoring in the paint found options on the perimeter. The Wildcats hit 10-of-19 three-point shots. And most impressively, UA got away from sloppy play early to only turn the ball over five times.
Advancing to the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off Arizona will play Rhode Island on Tuesday after the Rams defeated Metro State earlier on Monday.