Cats throw block party on Miners

UA swatted away six UTEP shots on their way to a 33-point victory
Emmanuel Akot (24) and Dylan Smith double-team UTEP guard Paul Thomas (1) during Arizona's...
Emmanuel Akot (24) and Dylan Smith double-team UTEP guard Paul Thomas (1) during Arizona's November 14 game against the Miners at McKale Center(Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics (custom credit))
Published: Nov. 15, 2018 at 12:28 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Brandon Williams and Brandon Randolph scored 21 points apiece and the Arizona Wildcats tuned up for their upcoming trip to Maui with a 79-46 rout of UTEP on Wednesday night.

The freshman Williams scored 15 in the first half as Arizona took a 34-23 lead at the break. Randolph, a sophomore, scored 14 in the second half, when the Wildcats blew open a 35-point lead.

Chase Jeter, a transfer from Duke who sat out last season, added 15 points for the Wildcats (3-0).

Paul Thomas scored 14 and Efe Odigie 11 for the Miners (1-2).

Arizona committed just six turnovers to UTEP’s 22.

The Wildcats never trailed, scoring the first eight points of the game, and were up 21-11 after Ira Lee's dunk with 10:32 left in the half.

The Miners followed with a 7-2 spurt to cut it to 23-18 on Kobe Magee's 3-pointer with 4:13 to play before the break. But Williams responded with a 3-pointer and the lead was 26-18. Paul Thomas scored to UTEP to make it 26-20 but Williams sank another 3 and it was 29-20 3:18 before halftime.

The rest of the half was sloppy, with both teams missing free throws, but Arizona's 34-23 lead at the break was its largest of the half.

The Wildcats scored three points to UTEP's one the final 2:39 of the half.

UTEP scored the first five points of the second half, cutting the Arizona advantage to 34-28 when Thomas sank a 3. But the Wildcats responded with seven unanswered points to go up 41-28 on Williams' 15-footer with 17:43.

A 9-0 run ballooned the lead to 22 points. Capping the spurt, Jeter blocked Evan Gilyard’s shot, resulting in Randolph’s layup that put the Wildcats ahead 57-35 with 9:38 to play. It just got more one-sided from there.

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