Arizona was able to pull out a road victory late on Thursday night, beating Stanford 89-82. Read on to find out who the players of the game were, what the key moments were, and more.
Arizona had to pull away late, but eventually came out with a 89-82 win over Stanford on Thursday night. Here’s a closer look at what happened:
Arizona Co-Players of the Game:
Stanley Johnson – For the second game in a row, Johnson was invisible in the first half and made his presence known in the second half. The freshman had just five points and two fouls at halftime, but had 14 points, five rebounds, and just one foul the rest of the game. For early stretches in the second half, he answered several Stanford baskets with his own.
Matt Korcheck – This may seem silly, but the senior completely changed the game after coming in with Dusan Ristic fouling out. Korcheck had four points and two rebounds in just five minutes of action, but most of all brought a much needed energy to the game.
The Arizona Wildcats started to pull away midway through the first half. They jumped out to a 27-20 lead with just over eight minutes left in the half after getting hot from the field and hitting eight straight field goals.
The Cardinal stormed back, with the help of some exquisite refereeing and severe defensive lapses, to take a 41-39 lead at halftime. Stanford shot 55 percent in the first half, but was also able to capitalize on 13 free throws in the period.
Arizona used an 8-0 run early in the second half to take a 55-52 lead. Brandon Ashley capped the run with a contested three-pointer from the corner. The forward had six of the Wildcats’ points with T.J. McConnell adding a layup.
With just over eight minutes left in the game, Stefan Nastic was forced to sit with four fouls and it was downhill for the Cardinal after that. Arizona used an 8-0 run over the next few minutes to start pulling away. Matt Korcheck came into the game and completely changed it, scoring four points during the run as the Wildcats pulled away.
Stanford made things interesting late in the game cutting the Arizona lead to six with 36 seconds left. The Wildcats traded free throws for baskets and put the game away for good when a dunk by Kaleb Tarczewski put Arizona ahead 89-80 with 13 seconds to go.
Stats of the Night:
51 - It was a long night for everyone, except for the refs, who got in some good work, calling 51 fouls on the night, including 26 in the first half. Seven players finished the night with four or more fouls, including Dusan Ristic, who fouled out of the game. Interestingly enough, Ristic was the only player to foul out of the game.
Arizona really shared the love and the rock on Thursday night. Five players scored in double digits with the Wildcats scoring 30 field goals off of 10 assists. Ten of their 89 points came off of offensive rebounds, but Arizona did not score a single fast break point in the game.
It was a weird game for Arizona. The Wildcats looked like they were on the ropes several times, but Stanford just refused to take advantage. Stanley Johnson answered the bell every time the Cardinal looked like they were going to take over the game and Brandon Ashley came up with some big shots down the stretch, fighting for rebounds and playing solid defense throughout the game.
Even with those players doing well, there are two more that deserve more credit than they might get after this game. T.J. McConnell and Gabe York were both great for stretches of the game and brought plenty of positives throughout night. McConnell made back-to-back baskets in the second half as it looked like the game might soon get out of hand. York hit two clutch three-pointers during the first half and was able to make all but one of his free throws late in the game to help seal the victory.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"It was a really unique game," Miller said. "We were in dire straits because of our foul trouble. It's not easy to play through those moments."
"They always play us tough," York said. "We were coming in for a fight. It was just a matter of us making the right plays and making enough plays to win."