Published January 03, 2014
| Sports Network
Tucson, AZ – Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona set numerous arena records and opened Pac-12 play with a bang as the No. 1 Wildcats routed Washington State, 60-25, on Thursday.
Arizona (14-0, 1-0 Pac-12) led 28-7 after the first half, shattering McKale Center records for fewest points given up in a half and fewest field goals against (2). The Cougars (7-6, 0-1), who were without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy and starter Dexter Kernich-Drew, made just 2-of-21 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, breaking the previous low for field goals in a half of four.
The 25 total points were the fewest by Washington State since it scored that many on Jan. 15, 1938.
The previous McKale Center low was 37 points, set by Northern Arizona in 1989.
Kaleb Tarczewski was the lone player to reach double figures with 11 points for Arizona, which remained one of eight unbeaten teams in the nation. Aaron Gordon grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson scored eight points apiece and Brandon Ashley went for seven and eight boards.
"We wanted to start this Pac-12 season off right. We liked what we did in the nonconference, but we're here to prove that we really are the number one team and we want to keep it that way," Johnson said.
The 60 points was Arizona's lowest total of the season.
Junior Longrus led Washington State, which finished a collective 20 percent (9-of-45) from the floor, with just six points.
Royce Woolridge, Longrus and Jordan Railey all split a pair at the free throw line in the first 13 minutes of the contest for Washington State's only points until 6:42, when Woolridge finally broke an 0-for-17 team shooting slump with a jumper. D.J. Shelton followed with a layup a minute later, but Arizona's D beared down and shut the Cougars out the rest of the half.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats scored 18 of their 28 first half points in the paint or from the free throw line.
The second half wasn't much better for the visitors. Arizona led 52-17 at the final media timeout with a chance to hold Washington State under 20 points for the first time in NCAA Division 1 history, but the Cougars mustered eight points in the final minutes to avoid being on the wrong side of the history books.
Arizona improved to 4-1 in Pac-12 openers under head coach Sean Miller ... The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 42-28. Arizona has outrebounded its opponents in all 14 games this season ... Lacy underwent an appendectomy on Saturday ... Arizona looks to stay perfect on the season when it hosts Washington on Saturday.