TUCSON, Ariz. — Josh Green and Chase Jeter had 15 points each, helping No. 15 Arizona bounce back from its first loss of the season with a 99-49 rout over Nebraska-Omaha on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (10-1) returned to McKale Center for the first time in 17 days with a dominating performance, jumping on Omaha with a big opening run and keeping their foot on gas.
Arizona shot 58%, had 25 assists on 38 field goals and had a 44-20 advantage in the paint.
Arizona’s Nico Mannion had 13 points and 11 assists, and Dylan Smith scored all 14 of his points in the first half.
The Mavericks (5-7) continued to take their lumps in a road-heavy nonconference season that included games against Wichita State, No. .14 Dayton, Colorado State, Washington State and Saint Mary’s. They did manage to pull off an 85-77 win over Washington State, but lost 75-63 loss to Northern Arizona on Sunday.
Omaha was no match for the long, athletic Wildcats, digging a big hole early it never recovered from.
Omaha’s KJ Robinson had 15 points to lead the Mavericks, who shot 27%.
Arizona suffered its first loss on Saturday, fighting back from a shaky first half before losing 63-58 to No. 11 Baylor.
The Wildcats were not only looking for a bounce back but to tighten things up before a showdown with No. 6 Gonzaga Saturday night.
Arizona took care of both from the opening tip against Omaha.
The Wildcats opened with 15-4 run and led 43-23 at halftime after making 19 of 27 shots. Smith, who was 1 for 8 against Baylor, made four of 6 from 3-point range .
The Mavericks had trouble with Arizona’s length on offensive, hitting 10 of 33 shots, but Robinson did drain a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
Arizona opened the second half by making eight of its first 12 shots to build the lead to 63-31 and cruise from there.
Omaha was no match for Arizona in one of college basketball’s toughest environments, but the experience should help the Mavericks once the Summit League season starts.
Arizona was able to wash away some of the taste from the letdown and get some momentum headed into Saturday’s game against the Zags.
Omaha hosts Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Sunday.
Arizona hosts. No. 6 Gonzaga on Saturday.