Defense the difference in win

Arizona's defense was the difference in Wednesday's win over Stanford. Read on to see why, Miller's thoughts on the performance, and more.

Arizona's defense and rebounding has been its identity for the entire season. While this was the first game all year that the Wildcats failed to at least tie the opponent in the rebounding battle, the defense was remarkable.

The Wildcats held Stanford to four points, two coming from the line, over the last ten minutes of the game.

"We're an outstanding defensive team," Sean Miller said. "It isn't as if we changed any scheme, we just buckled down and had a lot of players playing very hard, and our ability to hold them to what we did is a big reason we won.

"Our defense won the game tonight. No question we have to execute better on offense and we have to be more confident at the line."

Arizona picked up the defensive intensity those last ten minutes and Aaron Gordon, who struggled offensively, was a big reason why.

"That's what we should have done the whole game," he said. "We came out a little lackadaisical and after that we turned it up when the sense of urgency turned up, and after that we kind of locked down.

"It was good to come on the road and get a win, regardless of whether we won by 20 or we won by three like we did."

At this point, the Wildcats are confident in their defensive ability, which then leads to confidence in its ability to win games.

"One of the things we need to do is play defense at a high level more consistently and I think that will help us out a lot," Brandon Ashley said. "When we were down, we weren't thinking about being down. For any team to be competitive, at any level, you have to be confident in yourself."

Of course, Arizona could not win if it wasn't for guys stepping up on offense as well. Nick Johnson's three pointer with 51 seconds left wound up being the difference in the game.

"For 38 minutes, I thought we were right there," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Credit Arizona for making the plays they had to make at the end. Nick Johnson stepping up, whether at the foul line or whether it was a 3-point bucket late. I've watched a lot of tape of them, he's done it all year."

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