Not only was it the toughest game, but Arizona got its best effort of the season en route to an 81-72 win.
St. John's jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Jesse Perry put Arizona on the board with a free throw. After two more free throws by Jordin Mayes, Kevin Parrom made a three-pointer less than five minutes into the game, as Arizona had its first lead, 6-5.
A three by Jordin Mayes and Solomon Hill extended the lead to 13-6, as Arizona's three-point shooting was easily the theme of the first half. A Josiah Turner and Parrom three extended the lead to 19-10 and it felt as if the Wildcats would pull away a bit or at least force St. John's out of its zone defense.
However, the Red Storm then went on a 7-0 run led by a Phil Greene three to cut Arizona's lead to two. Arizona maintained its lead until about the eight minute mark, when Nurideen Lindsey made two free throws to give the Red Storm the 28-26 lead. St. John's then extended the lead to five less than a minute later, as Malik Stith made a layup to make the score 31-26.
Arizona pulled to within three with a Kyle Fogg three-pointer and the teams then basically exchanged buckets. The Wildcats were finally able to tie the game with 1:42 left and then took the lead on two free throws by Fogg. After an exchange of buckets, a three by Brendon Lavender with 38 seconds left in the first half gave the Wildcats the 44-41 halftime lead.
In the first half, 9 of 11 of Arizona's made baskets were from behind the arc, as Arizona shot only 36 percent from the field.
Arizona extended its lead to five about five minutes into the second half when Mayes hit a three-pointer. Johnson then had a dunk off an assist from Turner and the lead was seven with Arizona playing very well.
However, Phil Greene then rattled off seven straight points, including a three-pointer to tie the game at 54, with all seven points coming in about a minute of action. St John's then got four buckets from four different players to take a 62-56 lead with about ten minutes left in the second half.
Solomon Hill tried to stop the run with a jumper, but Sir'Dominic Pointer and Nurideen Lindsey both scored, to build an eight-point lead. However, Arizona came storming back with a three-pointer by Johnson followed by a dunk by Turner. Hill then had a dunk of his own and Arizona came within one point.
Arizona was able to tied the game and get the lead with about four minutes left when Hill made two free throws. Fogg then hit a three to put Arizona up four with 3:42 left. Perry then scored on a rebound not too long after and Arizona's lead was six. St. John's tried to come back, but Arizona kept having an answer, as Johnson hit a three almost immediately after the Red Storm cut the lead to four.
The seven-point lead would be all that Arizona would need, as the Wildcats made their free throws in the end and came away with the impressive road win.