No. 2 Arizona beats Mount St. Mary's by 23

Tucson, AZ ( - Brandon Ashley had 21 points, Rondae Hollis- Jefferson scored 15 and No. 2 Arizona opened its season with a 78-55 win over Mount St. Mary's on Friday night.

Kaleb Tarczewski added 10 points for the Wildcats (1-0), who came within one win of making the Final Four last season.

"It was good to get started again after a long offseason. Tonight's crowd was amazing," said Arizona coach Sean Miller. "We played well in stretches as a team. There were times where we didn't, which is expected in our first game."

Kristijan Krajina had 13 points to lead Mount St. Mary's (0-1) and Byron Ashe scored 12.

The Mountaineers beat Robert Morris in the Northeast Conference championship game last season to make a surprise NCAA Tournament appearances but lost to Albany in the First Four.

They fell to 1-22 all-time against ranked teams, including 0-5 against teams ranked first or second.

Although the Mountaineers never led, they hung around until a flurry at the end of the first half gave Arizona a big lead.

The score was tied with 8 1/2 minutes left in the half and the Mountaineers were within 28-25 later on before the Wildcats ripped off the last 12 points to take a 40-25 lead at halftime.

The last six points came on three consecutive dunks by Ashley and Hollis- Jefferson, who had the last two. Ashley led all players with 12 points in the half.

Mount St. Mary's was as close as seven points with 11 minutes remaining in the game before a 12-0 Arizona run.

Game Notes

Arizona's next game is Sunday in Tucson against Cal State Northridge as part of the Maui Invitational ... The Mountaineers' second game is against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday. The program's only win over a top-25 team came at No. 21 Georgia Tech on Dec. 18, 1995.