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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


FINAL: Arizona beats Utah 65-56

Rebecca Sasnett 2013
Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ Daily Wildcat UA junior guard Nick Johnson drives toward the basket during the first period of the Utah basketball game at McKale Center on Sunday.

Junior guard Nick Johnson scored a game-high 22 points to accompany four boards, two assists and a steal to lead Arizona men’s basketball to the most consecutive wins in modern school history.

The No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12 Conference) beat Utah 65-56 Sunday evening in McKale Center to break former head coach Lute Olson’s record of 19 straight wins.

While the UA shot with 40 percent accuracy from the court, the Wildcats took advantage of Utah’s 20 personal fouls and 14 turnovers to turn the game around and earn the squad’s 20th consecutive victory of the year.

Utah struck with a 6-2 run over the opening two-and-a-half minutes to tighten Arizona’s lead to one point. The Utes continued to rally, as the lead swung 13 times in the contest, but they ultimately found the Wildcats’ attack too much to handle and succumbed to Arizona’s offense. After being tied 47-47 with 10:50 remaining, Arizona went on a 12-2 run over the next seven-and-a-half minutes and the Wildcats subsequently controlled a 10-point lead with 3:35 on the clock.

Freshman forward Aaron Gordon, who shot 3-for-13 on the night, collected 10 points and 12 rebounds while adding two blocks, two assists and a steal to earn his sixth double-double of the season.

Arizona’s sophomore big men Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski combined for 10 rebounds on the night and set the pace defensively for the Wildcats in the second half.

Ashley — who shot 0-for-4 in the first half — redeemed himself by converting his only attempt from behind the arc and shooting 4-for-9 from the field for 11 points in the final period of the game. He additionally tallied seven rebounds and a block overall in the matchup.

Tarczewski finished with four points and three rebounds.

Freshman forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson shot 2-for-3 from the free throw line and contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and an assist to Arizona’s cause.

—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17

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