Effort makes difference in victory

Arizona could have given up at numerous points of Saturday's win over Utah, but didn't. Read on to see what Sean Miller says about his team's mentality and more.

It's no secret that Arizona's offense struggled against Utah, but the key for the Wildcats was that the defense never faltered.

"You can really get down on yourself when the ball is not going in and that’s affects defense," Sean Miller said. "Our missed shots never really affected our defense and that’s a sign of a tough minded team, especially on the road."

Points were hard to come by on Saturday, but the Wildcats kept going despite falling down six points in the second half.

"We stayed with it," Miller said. "We played great defense and rebounded. We had a couple that we need to make, point blank shots.

"To be able to win in this type of atmosphere and this game against a team that’s as good as Utah, however you do it, I think you feel good about it.

"Our guys never really broke. I thought when they went up six points midway through the second half, that was a crucial time for us and we really responded."

After the game, Miller complimented numerous players, including Gabe York for his offensive rebound near the end.

"It was kind of awkward in that nobody went to rebound," Miller said. "Not only their team, but our team. It was kind of like the parting of the Red Sea and he went in and tipped it in.

"Gabe made a number of big plays. He defended Taylor really well at the end, hit a huge shot when they made their run. He is playing the best basketball of his career right now."

Miller feels comfortable saying that due in large part to the other areas of the game York is impacting.

"He’s more well rounded than he has ever been before," Miller said. "Passing, driving the ball, scoring from two, making three-point shots.

"If he misses threes, he doesn't get down on himself. He is a much better defender now than he has ever been and when you do that you have a chance to play a little bit more."

Even when talking about individual players, Miller's focus revolves around Arizona's defensive ability.

"You want to be good on both ends," he said. "I am telling you, playing Utah here is not easy to score. There’s a reason they have the team they have.

"They have great length, well coached, play hard, physical, great depth, it’s not easy to score on them. It was a struggle, but the good thing for us is that it was a struggle for them to score also."


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