Arizona pulled away early and kept the lead for the entire game, beating Washington 86-62 on Friday night. Read on to find out who the player of the game was, what the key moments were, and more.
Arizona came out hot early, hitting nine consecutive buckets en route to a 86-62 win over Washington. Here’s a closer look at what happened:
Arizona Player of the Game:
Stanley Johnson – The freshman was not only Arizona’s leading scorer, but one of the most efficient as well. Johnson finished with 20 points on seven of ten shooting. The forward also grabbed eight rebounds, dished out two assists and blocked two shots in the win. He had several shots that gave the Wildcats momentum in the game and was the most important player in the win for Arizona along with T.J. McConnell.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, T.J. McConnell grabbed the ball on a break and shot a pass down the court to find a wide open Elliott Pitts for a three pointer. The sophomore buried it and the Wildcats took an early 15-9 lead in the game. Arizona got two from Brandon Ashley on the next trip down the court to cap an 8-0 run.
Arizona continued to dominate the game, pulling away from Washington. Stanley Johnson got the ball on a fast break, scored on an and-one play, Kaleb Tarczewski put down an alley oop, and the Wildcats used a 21-2 run to put the game away early, leading 31-11 at the under-eight media timeout in the first half.
With Washington threatening in the second half, Shawn Kemp Jr. was whistled for a questionable offensive foul call, his third of the game. To make things worse, Lorenzo Romar was hit with a technical foul for arguing the call. The Wildcats took the free throws and the ball, switching all momentum back to their side
With just over eight minutes to go in the game, Washington hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the Arizona lead to just 11. Sean Miller called a timeout to rally his troops and the Wildcats immediately got a dunk from Rondae Jefferson, a stop on the defensive end and two free throws from McConnell to extend the lead to 15. A few minutes later, Elliott Pitts got in the lane, scored on a floater and got the lead back over 20-points.
Stat of the Night:
1 - T.J. McConnell finished the game with ten points and ten rebounds tallying a double-double on the night. Believe it or not, it was McConnell’s first time achieving this feat at the University of Arizona. He had two prior in his career at Duquesne, but was unable to do it in his time in the desert until the game against Washington.
Arizona came out fired up and that was really the biggest key to the game. The Wildcats got ahead early and never looked back. Washington had a few small runs in it, but couldn’t ever really get back in striking distance. Arizona never took their foot off the gas and just continued to keep a comfortable lead over the Huskies.
There isn’t much that you can take away from this game. It was very sloppy on the Washington end and Arizona had a decent sized lead for a majority of the game. It wasn’t a battle and it wasn’t an incredibly challenging game for the Wildcats. There were points in the game where Arizona got complacent and Washington looked like it was going to turn it around. Sean Miller used his timeouts in those situations and was able to calm the tide.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"Had a couple good days leading up to being up here and I thought it was reflective in the first half," Miller said.
"We pretty much said no team is going to beat us the way Arizona State did," McConnell said. "We're going to play hard and let the chips fall where they may. If we play hard and somebody beats us, it wasn't our night then."