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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Slow start yields different results

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Arizona tried a new starting lineup on Tuesday in hopes of ending their streak of slow starts.

It worked — sort of.

Arizona went down 10-2 to New Mexico State but clawed back to tie the game at 12 at the first media timeout.

The new lineup saw guard Nick Johnson make his first start and replace center Kyryl Natyazhko, moving Jesse Perry to the center position and Johnson to small forward.

As small as that lineup was, Arizona head coach Sean Miller said it’s something the team would likely see more of, and Perry said that it’s about the Wildcats getting their best five players on the court.

Turner getting comfortable

Freshman point guard Josiah Turner said Tuesday’s game was as comfortable he’s been on the court in college, partly due to the high-pressure defense NMSU runs. The up-tempo defense can put Aggie guards into bad situations if they get to the wrong spot on the floor, and Turner was able to dupe the Aggies into opening up driving lanes.

Turner was also able to open up lanes for four different Wildcats that scored in double digits, and he sparked a run that saw Arizona take an eight-point lead toward the end of the second half.

“As it keeps going, I’d think that I’ll keep getting better,” Turner said.

Hill on fire

For the fifth consecutive game, junior forward Solomon Hill played like the player that Miller expected him to be this season.

The 6-foot-6, 226-pound native of Los Angeles scored 12 points and dished out seven assists while turning the ball over just once. Hill also added six rebounds and made the right decision nearly every time he had the ball in his hands.

On the road

Tuesday’s contest was Arizona’s first true road game of the year. The Wildcats traveled to New York for the 2k Sports Classic and took on St. John’s on its normal home floor at Madison Square Guarden, but because it was in a tournament, the game was technically a neutral outing.

“We all the way out in the middle of nowhere,” Perry said. “ I think we did good.”

It was also an experience for Arizona’s two true freshman that were playing a hostile environment for the first time.

“It was loud in there,” Turner said. “All we had was ourselves.”

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