Arizona Player of the Game:
Nick Johnson – Nick Johnson had his Pac-12 Player of the Year moments in this one. The junior guard put the team on his back and carried them to victory. Johnson battled it out with Roberto Nelson and the Beavers, scoring 25 points on 8-18 shooting for the night and adding six rebounds and four assists. It was a game that the Wildcats needed Johnson to step up and he answered.
Stats of the Night:
15: Although it did not effect the outcome, Oregon State's 15 second-chance points kept the Beavers in the game. The Wildcats were out rebounded 43-34 in the game and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the opposition. It will be something that Sean Miller looks at with much criticism in the film session.
General Thoughts: Arizona's offense was not what it had been the previous few games on Wednesday night. The Wildcats had a few too many sloppy passes and even had some easy shots that did not fall. It didn't stop Arizona from winning the game, but it definitely made the game closer than it needed to be.
Gabe York generally played well, as he finished with 12 points and played solid defense for most of the night. His offense comes in spurts and it has been when Arizona has needed it the most.
Arizona needed Nick Johnson to come through and he did, showing why he is the leading candidate for the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The Wildcats had plenty of lapses in the game against Oregon State, including being dominated on the boards, second chance points, and bench scoring. It was a night in which the Wildcats seemed destined to lose and the team just found a way to win the game, like all great teams do.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"No team in the 30 games we have played has punished us on the glass like Oregon State did," Miller said. "I would put their physicality, their size, against any front line in the country. To be out-rebounded on the road and still win, we'll take it,"
"We want to finish this season out as strong as possible," Johnson said. "We don't want to take an `L,' not play hard, because, I mean, that carries over to the next game. We have ourselves a little momentum going here."