Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. Texas Tech

Arizona defeated Texas Tech handily on Tuesday night 79-58. Read on to find out who the player of the game was, what the key plays were, and more.

The Arizona Wildcats beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders handily one Tuesday night. The Wildcats took control from the opening tip and never looked back in the decisive 79-58 win. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Aaron Gordon – The freshman set his career-high in scoring on Tuesday, as he finished with 19 points on 7-10 shooting. Gordon hit a three-pointer, but was just 4-12 at the free throw line. That wasn't all for the freshman, who also finished with eight rebounds on the night.

Key Moments:

  • Arizona came out firing on all cylinders, opening the game scoring ten straight points. Texas Tech failed to score in the first four minutes of the game and Tubby Smith was forced to call a timeout to get his team back on track. It worked, as the Red Raiders got a basket on a fast break to stop the bleeding.

  • With just under four minutes remaining in the first half, Nick Johnson finally got in on the action. Out of a timeout, the junior guard nailed a step-back three-pointer to push Arizona's lead to 27-19. After a Texas Tech basket, Johnson nailed another trey to push the lead to 30-21.

  • Just moments into the second half, Arizona started to pull ahead for good. Aaron Gordon took a pass and went baseline for a dunk to start the series. Next, T.J. McConnell stole the ball and found Nick Johnson for a three-pointer, forcing Texas Tech to call a timeout as the Wildcats opened on a 9-2 run.

    Stats of the Night:

    17: Arizona was a dominant force on the glass in this one. The Wildcats scored fifteen second chance points after grabbing 17 offensive rebounds in the game. That was quite a stat, considering that Arizona out-rebounded Texas Tech 43-23. In comparison, the Red Raiders had just nine offensive rebounds.

    General Thoughts:

    Texas Tech may be one of the worst teams that Arizona will face all season. It is a rebuilding year as Tubby Smith gets his feet planted in Lubbock, but he has a long way to go after completely remodeling his team in the off-season.

    With that being said, Arizona did not play its best after the large lead to open the game. The Wildcats were up 10-0 and let the Raiders close the gap. Eventually, Arizona pulled away, but it needs to be able to keep the lulls in offense to a minimum. It wasn't a difference maker against Texas Tech, but it could be dangerous against tougher teams.

    There is not really much to say about this team that hasn't already been said multiple times. Arizona is going to be a strong, deep team all season long. On any given night, the Wildcats can have a player that takes over and puts the team on his back.

    On Tuesday, Aaron Gordon, Nick Johnson, and Brandon Ashley led the team with on the scoring front, while T.J. McConnell did what he normally does, finishing with just five points, but dishing out ten assists.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "We outscored Texas Tech by 16 points combining the first four minutes in each half," Miller said. "So, if you look at it from that perspective, that's goo. For the majority of both halves, it was very even. One of the things that we obviously weren't happy about, on our side, was that we were really sloppy on offense in the first half.

    "I credit Texas Tech a great deal. They have a lot of athletic talent. They play extremely hard. We knew that coming in. To play a team who subs like they sub and plays the style that they play and the personnel that they have, a lot of times they can deflect and create turnovers, and they did."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "When you play with guys this talented, it makes the point guard look good," McConnell said. "It makes the point guard's life easier. As I've been saying all year, credit to them because they're making all the plays. I'm just getting them the ball."

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