Arizona moved to 4-0 on the season with a 61-42 win over Northwestern State on Sunday night. Here's a closer look at what happened:
Player of the Game:
Gabe York - The senior guard led all scorers with 18 points in the win. York shot 50-percent from the field and nailed four long balls. He only contributed one rebound and one assist in the game, but played solid defense throughout the night. So far this season, he has shown his willingness to be the go-to guy on this team and when he is hitting his shots consistently, Arizona is going to succeed.
* Northwestern State scored the first basket of the game, but then went on an incredible scoring drought, scoring just two more baskets for the first ten minutes of the game. Arizona was able to pull ahead during the stretch, scoring 16 points. The ten point margin was propelled by numerous Wildcats, with Allonzo Trier leading the way with four points.
* Arizona lead 34-21 at halftime, but Mark Tollefsen came out and immediately had a put back slam to keep the momentum with the Wildcats in the second half. Kaleb Tarczewski threw down a dunk after a stop, but Arizona was shut down for over three minutes after that. During the stretch, the Demons were able to go on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just 10.
* After the 9:48 mark in the second half, Northwestern State did not make a field goal for over seven minutes. During that time, Arizona went on a 16-4 run, breaking the game wide open. York hit a three pointer and two free throws during the stretch and was able to push Arizona to the win.
Stat of the Game:
0 - Arizona point guards Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Kadeem Allen both combined for 11 assists in the game, which is great for the Wildcats. However, the more important stat is that neither one of them had a turnover in the game. The combination of Jackson-Cartwright and Allen so far this season as tandem point guards has gone over well as they both compliment each other's style of play and allow Arizona to show multiple looks to the opposition.
I don't think Arizona played very well at all in this win. The Wildcats struggled to pull away for a majority of the night and had several stretches where they could just not get the ball into the basket. Arizona shot just 37-percent from the field and only hit 12 of 24 free throws on the night, which significantly hurt the team's ability to put some distance between itself and the opposition.
It was an ugly performance on offense, yet the defense stood strong. The Demons had 18 turnovers in the game and shot just 36-percent from the field. Arizona consistently held Northwestern State to shots late in the shot clock with a defender right on the ball. To top it off, when the Demons did miss, the Wildcats cleaned up the boards, allowing just four offensive rebounds all night.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"It's not a fun game to watch or play in or coach," Miller said of the win. "It is what it is. The game is over and I'm thrilled by 19 points, in particular without Ryan (Anderson). For us to have the ability to rest him today is far more important big picture wise moving forward. Big picture wise, you are always going to have games like this.
"Northwestern State, as some of you guys following basketball may know, is one of college basketball's highest scoring teams. Tonight, they chose to play a different way and that's their choice. We have to adjust to that."
"I'm very confident," York said. "I've always been a confident basketball player. It's just that my role has changed now and it is time to produce at a high level every game whether it is scoring, passing, getting rebounds. I'm not playing great yet. There are still a lot of things that I need to do better. I'm a confident player and I'm excited to go back home and play."