Arizona Co-Players of the Game:
Brandon Ashley – Ashley started the game a little slow, but picked it up in the second half. He finished with a team-high 18 points, making eight of his sixteen shots. He missed an early three-pointer, but stayed inside the arc for all of his shots after that. The sophomore also grabbed six rebounds and was a perfect 2-2 from the free throw line. His play was one of the differences in the game.
Aaron Gordon – The freshman was another one of the most important players on the court on Saturday. Gordon had 14 points, most of which came down the stretch. He also grabbed five rebounds, but his most important stat was his two assists. Both came during a stretch when Arizona was trying to get back into the game and led to easy baskets for the Wildcats.
Michigan led by eight before Aaron Gordon scored on a dunk and Brandon Ashley scored four straight points to cut the lead to just two. Stauskas scored on the next possession, but Gordon answered with his another layup to put it back at two.
Stats of the Night:
7:17: Arizona was trailing by eight with eight minutes to go in the game. Aaron Gordon missed a three-pointer and Glenn Robinson III grabbed the rebound with 7:17 left on the clock. Michigan did not grab another defensive rebound until Gabe York missed his free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining. During that time, Arizona scored on ten straight possessions.
General Thoughts: Arizona had no business winning this game if you just watched the first half. In fact, if you turned the game off after Mitch McGary got an easy dunk to start the second half, you probably watched all of Arizona's bad basketball for the game.
After T.J. McConnell's three-pointer, the Wildcats really started to step their game up. Save for a few bad possessions, Arizona played as flawless a second half as you could ask for. The Wildcats only had three turnovers in the period, shot 55-percent from the field, and hit ten of their eleven free throws.
Down the stretch, Arizona really pulled out all the stops. The team as a whole seemed to not be able to miss. Ashley put up a few shots that seemingly had no chance to go in, but still dropped. Gordon made two great passes and put himself in great positions to get the ball and make plays.
This game was one that could arguably be labeled as one that Arizona should have lost, given all the factors involved. Michigan was even favored heading into the game, despite the Wildcats being ranked #1 in the country. With the big win, it shows that Arizona's potential for this season is real and that this team could be special.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"This was as quality of a win as you can have, in my opinion, in the country," Miller said. "I felt like today -- we're going to be better if we won, we're going to be better if we lost."
"We didn't feel going in at half that we were down nine," Johnson said. "We felt good about ourselves. We had a few easy shots that we didn't finish."