Despite a sluggish start, Arizona let loose on NAU in a dominating 92-37 victory at McKale Center. Arizona hit 34 of 59 field goals, good for a scorching 57.6%.
Mark Tollefsen came off the bench for 19 points and 8 rebounds, showing great activity around the rim. Tollefsen also blocked 2 shots and altered numerous paint attempts by NAU. Since switching to a reserve role, Tollefsen seems to have found his comfort and is thriving as the team’s 6th man.
Arizona also got a big boost from Ryan Anderson, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds in typical fashion. Behind great energy and hustle, Anderson went 7 of 9 from the field in just 19 minutes. Anderson continues to be Arizona’s most consistent player and could see some Pac-12 Player of the Year attention going into conference play.
Kadeem Allen handled the point guard position well, scoring 7 points to go along with 7 assists. Most impressively, Allen had just 1 turnover in 25 minutes while cutting up the NAU defense with great passes to his teammates.
Arizona had 40 bench points, and 50 in the paint. NAU had just 14 points in the paint, and the Wildcats blitzed the Lumberjacks 52-13 in the second half.
With senior center Kaleb Tarczewski sidelined with an injury, two of the players that have seen expanded roles are freshmen Justin Simon and Chance Comanche. After having 10 rebounds last game, Comanche chipped in 6 points and 5 rebounds and a block in 15 minutes. Comanche is benefitting from his extended run, and has shown the ability to run the floor and dunk the basketball with his long and athletic frame.
Simon was also impressive, scoring 9 points on 4 of 5 shooting, while displaying some blistering speed and athleticism. He has been showing more confidence on offense in the last two games, and could end up providing valuable depth as the season goes on.
Arizona scored 15 points off 14 turnovers, and also turned 14 offensive rebounds into 19 second chance points. Arizona never trailed in the game, and held the lead for over 38 minutes.