It wasn’t the prettiest of wins Sunday night, but the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats scratched and clawed their way through a 65-56 victory over visiting Utah, thanks to a game-high 22 points from guard Nick Johnson.
Here’s a look back at the nine-point win, Arizona’s seventh straight in conference play, by the numbers:
Despite the win, Arizona’s offense was certainly not firing on all cylinders against the Utes. Sean Miller’s squad made only one field goal in the first 7:30 of the contest.
Although the Wildcats would go on to score 31 points over the first 20 minutes of play, they shot just over 31 percent from the field in the first half.
Following Sunday’s victorious affair, Arizona moved to a perfect 5-0 in its last five home contests against Utah dating back to 1992. Miller also moved to a perfect 5-0 in his career against the Utes.
Nick Johnson scored 20 points or more for the eighth time in an Arizona uniform. The Wildcats are 6-2 in those eight games.
Coming into Sunday’s Pac-12 clash, Arizona came in with plus-1.43 assist-to-turnover ratio. They ratio took a bit of a hit, though, as the Wildcats committed 11 turnovers and had just 10 assists in the win.
20 Part I:
Arizona dominated the battle on the boards with a 40-29 advantage. In fact, the Wildcats had as many offensive rebounds (20) as the Utes had defensive rebounds (20).
20 Part II:
The nine-point triumph pushed UA to a perfect 20-0 — its best start in school history. In addition, it marks the first time in school history the program has won 20 games in a row. Previously, the Wildcats had win streak of 19 games in 1993 and 1998.
Freshman forward Aaron Gordon shot 23.1 percent from the field, hitting on only three of his 13 attempts. While it was the second-worst shooting performance in his brief career, Gordon did record his sixth double-double of the season, as he finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds on the evening.
After Sunday’s contest, the Wildcats will face a tough road if they hope to remain unbeaten. And speaking of road, Arizona will spend plenty of time out on it for the remainder of 2013-14. Of its remaining 11 regular season games, 63.6 percent (7 games) will be played away from the McKale Center.
Utah has now lost eight in a row against Arizona. It’s last win (76-51) in the head-to-head series came in the 1998 NCAA tournament.