By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Brandon Ashley scored a career-high 21 points in his return to the lineup, and No. 2 Arizona shook off a shaky start to open the season with a 78-55 win over Mount St. Mary's Friday night.
Arizona was out of sorts early before closing the first half with a big run to build a 15-point lead that was barely challenged.
Ashley played confidently and moved freely, finishing 9 of 10 from the floor in his return from missing the final 16 games last season with a broken foot.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson lifted the Wildcats out of their funk with harassing defense and an array of soaring dunks, finishing with 15 points.
An NCAA Tournament team a year ago, Mount St. Mary's managed to keep Arizona within reach for most of the first half. Once the bigger, more athletic Wildcats turned up the pressure, the Mountaineers couldn't keep up.