Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. NAU

Arizona won handily in its final non-conference test of the season. Read on to find out how Arizona did it, what the key plays were, and more.

Arizona got off to a slow start, but picked things up soon after on Monday night. The Wildcats looked impressive in a 77-44 win over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Nick Johnson – The junior was on his game throughout the night, as he finished with 20 points, hitting seven of his ten shots. He was three of five from beyond the arc and three of four from the free throw line. Johnson also added two assists, a steal, a rebound and a solid defensive effort.

Key Moments:

  • With the score tied at 11 heading into the second media timeout, Arizona knew it had to turn on the offense. Nick Johnson came out immediately and buried a long ball to give Arizona the lead. A turnover on the Northern Arizona end led to another Johnson three-pointer and the Wildcats had a six-point lead.

  • Towards the end of the first half, Arizona started to pull away. After putting on the press and causing a few Lumberjack turnovers, Johnson took a pass from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and buried his third three-ball of the night. It was the guard's 13th points of the night and pushed the Wildcats' lead at 14.

  • Arizona was leading by just six with 6:43 to go in the first half. The Wildcats went on a 17-0 run over the next five minutes to break the game wide open as it went into halftime leading 41-17 and never looked back.

    Stats of the Night:

    23: Arizona put on some pressure throughout the night while preparing for the Pac-12 conference. It worked to the Wildcats' benefit as they scored 23 points off of turnovers. Northern Arizona turned the ball over 18 times in the loss and Arizona took advantage of the opportunities.

    General Thoughts: I'm not a big fan of saying that Arizona wears teams down, but Arizona wears teams down. Sometimes it takes until late in the second half and sometimes it takes about thirteen minutes of game time. The Wildcats have found their groove in every game this season and that is why they're undefeated. Arizona found it early in this one and the 17-0 run was just an early back breaker for NAU.

    While Arizona has been just fine without Kaleb Tarczewski, it is clearly a better rebounding team with him on the court. The Wildcats out rebounded NAU by just a single board, much lower than the +14 average rebound margin that they held coming into the game.

    The play of Jordin Mayes in the game was a pleasant surprise. The lone senior had some extra confidence in his step throughout the night. Mayes finished with five points in nine minutes of action. It was his first scoring game since he had six against Long Beach State in the second game of the season. He also added a rebound and two assists.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "Being the number one team in the country, you can carry it as a burden and take all the negative connotations that you want," Miller said. "On the flip side, we've really embraced that fact that we are the number one team in the country. You can't take it from us. We earned it. We've now played 13 game and we are very proud.

    "We've won 25 non-conference games in a row. Right now, we're number one in the country and 13-0. That's a source of pride and something nobody can take from us."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "We are about the same," Johnson said of the team this year compared to last year. "Last year, I think we lost our identity of being a defensive team. It went a little south on us. So, we just have to keep that going into conference."

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