Arizona continues to get best shot

Arizona continues to get its opponents' best shot. Read on to see how Arizona countered that against Stanford and more.

It's no secret that Arizona is going to get challenged as the season goes on, but you can make an argument that having to beat Stanford on the road with the way that Arizona was shooting was one of the biggest challenges this season.

In something that is to be expected, Arizona got Stanford's best shot and responded well.

"We know by now that we're going to get everybody's best shot, and that's what happened," Nick Johnson said. "Packed crowd, a hyped crowd tonight -- it was a tough game. They didn't surprise us -- we know how talented they are, they have very good athletes in Huestis and Powell. I didn't know the big guy (Stefan Nastic) was that good."

When you look at individual matchups, Stanford actually matches up well with Arizona and that much was evident on Wednesday.

"Stanford is big and physical," Sean Miller said. "We don't run into that many teams that are as big as we are, and if you look at their positions, they might actually be bigger. They did as well as any team all year of keeping us off the glass."

The key was how Arizona played defensively and the fact that the defense has shown to be among the best in the country.

"Our ability to hold them to what we did in the second half is a big reason we won," Miller said. "Our defense won the game tonight. I guess good fortune always plays a role, win or lose. We missed a lot of free throws.

"At times offensively, we weren't nearly as good as we've been. I credit Stanford. They had a good game plan and they played excellent defense. Stanford did a great job of keeping us off the glass."

"If you look at the game within the game, our ability to defend at a very high level, to get defensive stop after defensive stop when the other team really needed a score, that's what we've done from day one."

Johnson actually is of the belief that Arizona's defense is the reason why it fell behind early, but recognized the need to step up on offense as well.

"I kept on looking over at the coach and he gave me the freedom to call my play a few times in a row," he said. "I just tried to make plays for my team. It was really not our offense that was struggling, but our defense at first. But down the stretch we really capitalized on defense." Make no mistake about it though, Arizona doesn't think it won because it was lucky.

That's a very talented team that we played," Brandon Ashley said. "I don't think luck played a factor at all. We worked hard for everything we got."


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