Wednesday had the feel of one of those weird days in college basketball.
No. 1 Syracuse lost at home to a bad Boston College team. No. 2 Florida needed an intentional foul in a tie game to sneak past Auburn. And the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats found themselves with a dwindling lead on the road against the Utah Utes and without the services of freshman phenom Aaron Gordon, who fouled out with almost nine minutes remaining.
But then Nick Johnson found the shooting touch that had him in Player of the Year contention earlier this season, Arizona’s suffocating defense clamped down and the Wildcats (23-2, 10-2 Pac-12) held on for a 67-63 overtime win.
Here’s a closer look at the narrow win, by the numbers:
Wednesday’s loss to Arizona marked just Utah’s second home loss of the season. The Utes, who have won 16 of 18 at home, were handed their only other loss by Oregon in overtime.
Gordon managed just three points on 1-of-3 shooting as he stumbled through a foul-plagued game. Three of his fouls came on the offensive end, including his fifth.
UA coach Sean Miller vowed to get his bench more playing time after Friday’s double-overtime loss to Arizona State, and he delivered against the Utes. The Wildcats went nine players deep and received 15 bench points after their reserves failed to score against the Sun Devils.
Arizona sophomore guard Gabe York gave the Wildcats an offensive spark they needed, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He also scored seven-straight Arizona points at one point late in the first half.
The Wildcats played back-to-back overtime games for the first time in 18 years, with Friday’s double-overtime loss to Arizona State and Wednesday’s win over Utah.
The Wildcats showed bursts of offensive prowess in the first half, but were limited to just 21 second-half points as they saw a double-digit lead disappear.