Arizona Player of the Game:
Nick Johnson: The junior stepped up when his team needed him the most. The Wildcats were on the road and had several offensive weapons in foul trouble. Every time that San Diego State made a push to bridge the gap, Johnson was there with a strong offensive play or a defensive stand.
The shooting guard led all scorers with 23 points in the game, making eight of fifteen shots, and six of eight from the line. He also had four rebounds and two blocks on the night.
Stats of the Night:
39-28: Arizona went on the road against a team that had almost an equal amount of height and dominated on the glass. The Wildcats out-rebound the Aztecs 39-28, despite having several big men in foul trouble for a majority of the game.
Arizona continued to impress with the post scoring as well, as the Wildcats had 34 of their 69 points in the paint.
Arizona played incredibly well on Thursday. It isn't hard to imagine that the Wildcats were actually in a position to run away with the game at one point. However, foul trouble hampered the offense towards the end of the first half and most of the second half and the Aztecs were allowed to stay in the game.
One thing I noticed tonight was that T.J. McConnell was silently effective. He finished the game with seven points and six assists. It isn't a stellar stat line, but he is running the offense efficiently and effectively. McConnell does need to work on his offensive side of the ball, as he made just two of his seven shots on the night.
Aaron Gordon was at it again. He came out fired up and had 12 points before San Diego State did. However, Gordon was slowed by foul trouble and continued to have a slow offensive second half. In 18 second half minutes, most of the freshman's work came on the boards, as he grabbed seven of his eight in the final half of the game.
With that being said, throughout the entire game, it never felt like Arizona was in trouble. The Wildcats' lead was generally around ten points for most of the game, but even when it dipped down to five or six, Arizona never lost its poise. Someone stepped up and stopped the bleeding and that was the most important factor in the win.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"Playing at home or away is a completely different story and I think to play a true road game is something that we are proud we did," Miller said. "San Diego State has an incredible crowd and a fantastic home arena and a very-well coached team and a team that is used to winning."
"I've never seen anything like that before," McConnell said of Gordon's dunk. "Well, maybe Blake Griffin, but what he did was amazing."