Arizona, the No. 2 seed in the West, defeated 15-seed Long Beach State in a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament Thursday.

The Arizona Wildcats advance to the second round after scoring 85 against Long Beach State’s 65. Caleb Love had his second career double-double, scoring 18, with 10 rebounds.

Arizona scored 16 straight points over a five-minute stretch Thursday to pull away for an 85-65 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and snuff out Dan Monsons coaching tenure at Long Beach State.

Kylan Boswell scored 20 points for the second-seeded Wildcats (26-8), who made 13 3-pointers, the program record for March Madness.

This marked the end of a 17-year stretch at Long Beach State for the 62-year-old Monson. He learned last week that he wouldnt return next season. His team responded by unexpectedly winning the Big West Tournament to send the program to March Madness for the first time since 2012.

Arizona trailed by one with 2:34 left in the first half. A few free throws and a 3-pointer by Caleb Love started the Wildcats’ onslaught before halftime. Keshad Johnson (13 points) kicked off the second half with a layup, a 3 and a dunk off an alley-oop from Love, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

By the time the surge was over at the 17:08 mark of the second half, Arizona led 50-35. Counting the halftime break, the 15th-seeded Beach went about 40 minutes without a basket.

The Wildcats will play either Nevada or Dayton in the second round of the West Region.

Aboubacar Traore and A.J. George led the Beach (21-15) with 14 points each.



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