Postgame Analysis: Southern Miss

The Arizona Wildcats defeated the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 63-55 on Tuesday night. Read on to find out who the player of the game was and which plays helped Arizona win the game.

Player of the Game:

#13 Nick Johnson – With the rest of the team struggling early, Johnson kept his composure and kept Arizona in the game. He finished the night with a career-high 23 points and was a main reason the Wildcats came away with a victory. Even though he struggled at times with decision making as seen with his six turnovers, Johnson was key in Arizona's success.

Key Moments:

  • At the halftime buzzer, Johnson hit a three-pointer to cut the Southern Miss lead to nine points. It was instrumental for Arizona to keep the deficit in single digits heading into the locker room.

  • With 13:07 left in the second half Jordin Mayes stole the ball and kicked it ahead to Johnson who laid it in, giving Arizona a 45-44 lead. It was the Wildcats' first lead since midway through the first half.

  • Just under the five-minute mark, Kevin Parrom squared up and swished a three-point jumper, breaking the tied ball game. It was followed by a sold defensive effort by Arizona, forcing a shot clock violation the next trip down the court.

  • With Arizona leading by three and only a minute forty seconds left in the game, Solomon Hill stepped into a long ball and nailed it, pushing the Wildcats' lead to six. It was the final dagger for the Golden Eagle as they were unable to cut the deficit any smaller for the remainder of the game.

    General Thoughts:

    This is the type of game that shows how good Arizona truly is. Key players had off-nights left and right, but the Wildcats managed to fight back from a glaring twelve-point deficit and come away with the win. With the depth that Sean Miller has, players can have bad nights and it should still allow the team to play well. The Wildcats had a few more players in a slump for this one, but had enough firepower to pull away at the end.

    Arizona had 27 turnovers in the game and still managed to win. However, the even more boldfaced stat is that Wildcat players only committed eleven fouls. Even with the frustration that showed at times with the turnovers, Arizona kept its cool and played solid defense, instead of fouling.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "Everyone focuses on our freshmen and new talent," Miller said. "We love those guys and they've already shown us what they do, but when you play against a zone like Southern Mississippi- not to mention the physicality on the glass at the other end- we went with our oldest, most experienced players."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "I'm happy we had a close game," Johnson said. "I know we have veteran leadership, but our freshmen haven't been in close games. We pulled this one out, but we also got the experience factor of this game. We're using this to go into our next games and learning from our experience."

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