November 20, 2007

Bayless, Arizona too much for UMKC

Jerryd Bayless nearly tallied his first triple-double in his third career game. Bayless and the Wildcats raced past the Kangaroos of University of Missouri-Kansas City Monday night, 81-62.

The freshman point guard scored 20 points to go with nine rebounds and nine assists as he made strides in distributing the ball and making his teammates around him better. Bayless was more confident with the ball and made decisions early in the game that led him to have his most productive outing so far this season.

Bayless shot well from the floor as he hit 5-7 and made 8-9 at the charity stripe. He committed six turnovers, which shows he's still adjusting as both a freshman and a point guard in a new system.

The Wildcats started off slow as they frustrated the crowd and the coaching staff, causing interim head coach Kevin O'Neill to call two early timeouts. The Kangaroo zone defense caused the Wildcats to revamp their offensive schemes.

Arizona went on an 18-9 run to finish the half with a 37-29 lead that helped the confidence of the team going on into the second half. The Wildcats committed nine turnovers as a team as they were fortunate to have an eight-point lead.

The second half was all Arizona, as the UA defense locked down on the Kangaroos and the offense appeared to be in a much better rhythm.

In his second career start, Daniel Dillon was perfect from the floor as he shot 4-4 from the field on his way to a career-high 14 points. Dillon hit open shots after his teammates penetrated the lane and dished him the ball.

The senior guard continued to excel on the defensive end as his constant pressure is a major reason for his increased minutes and, of course, his starts. As long as he continues to show confidence and poise on the court, he will continue to be successful.

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