Arizona defeated NAU on Saturday night. Read on for a closer look at how it happened.
got off to another rough start on Saturday – this time against Northern Arizona – but was able to come back once again and pull off a relatively easy 53-39 victory over the Lumberjacks. The Wildcats were able to gain control of the game midway through the first half and never looked back. NAU spent much of the contest milking the clock on offense, but that strategy didn't hold up for very long.
UA coasted after taking the lead and NAU really didn't have enough firepower on offense to make a run. The Wildcats really put the game out of reach early in the second half and looked content after that. The Lumberjacks never got close enough to make Arizona worry and UA was able to keep NAU at a comfortable distance as a couple of upperclassmen really came alive.
Solomon Hill had another strong overall outing on Saturday. The junior finished the night with a game-high 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Hill went 6-for-11 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc. He also did a solid job of getting others involved, dishing out three assists.
Hill has emerged as one of the much needed team leaders. He has hit double-figures in six straight games and is leading the team in rebounding with 7.3 boards per contest. Hill is one of the veterans being counted upon to have a big season and his recent play is a positive sign for the tough upcoming schedule
Kyle Fogg led the early second-half charge with three three-point field goals and finished the evening second on the team with 11 points. Fogg struggled in the first half from deep, but provided a spark to the offense at the beginning of the second half when the Wildcats really took advantage of the contest.
Freshman Nick Johnson scored nine points and dished out a team-high four assists. He continues to be a big time threat from the outside, connecting on two out of three attempts from outside the three-point line.
UA's defense was too much for the Lumberjacks to overcome. NAU shot just 37.2 percent from the floor and were even worse from long range, going 5-for-14 as a team from beyond the arc. Northern Arizona attempted to slow the pace of the game down, and while it was successful, it didn't make much of difference in the outcome. The Lumberjacks were able to keep themselves in the game longer using this strategy, but Arizona still proved to be too much to handle.
The Wildcats played efficient team basketball on Saturday. As a team, they combined for 15 assists while committing just seven turnovers.
Arizona was able to go ahead by double figures mainly due to how much better it shot the ball in the second half. UA connected on 47.6 percent of its field goal attempts – including 40 percent from three-point land - over the final 20 minutes of play.