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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

In a game of runs, Arizona defeats Gardner-Webb 91-65

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Tyler Baker

Arizona men’s basketball guard Gabe York (1) goes for a rebound during Arizona’s 91-65 win against Gardner-Webb on Tuesday in McKale Center. York tied with Stanley Johnson for the team-high scoring mark of 18 points in the Wildcats’ seventh win of the season.

Sandwiched between games with then-No. 15 San Diego State and No. 9 Gonzaga, Arizona men’s basketball’s game against Gardner-Webb looked like a potential trap game, but it was not to be. The No. 3 Wildcats (7-0) beat the Runnin’ Bulldogs 91-65 to remain perfect heading into the Gonzaga game.

The UA used a 27-5 run midway through the second half to pull away.

“No, you got to respect every opponent,” UA forward Stanley Johnson said, when asked if it was tough to get up for a team like GWU. “I think, personally, after going to Maui, for us to come here and put up a subpar performance is almost making Maui look kind of bad on us.”

Johnson tied for a game-high 18 points, was 6-for-9 from the field, 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and had eight rebounds. Shooting guard Gabe York also had 18 points, including three 3-pointers.

The Wildcats trailed for almost 10 minutes in the first half, and GWU was 10-for-29 from 3-point territory on the game.

“It tested us in a big way, and when you give up 10 made 3’s, you’re playing with fire,” UA head coach Sean Miller said. “Hopefully. we learn from the film and learn from what we went through here [Tuesday] night, which will only make us better.”

Arizona shot 56 percent from the field, 59 percent from 3 and 50 percent from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, the Runnin’ Bulldogs shot 38 percent, 35 percent from beyond the arc and 58 percent from the line.

“It didn’t feel like a 25-point win or whatever it was,” Miller said. “I think we learned more about our team and gained some knowledge on what we need to work on.”

The Wildcats had 23 assists, and point guards T.J. McConnell and Parker Jackson-Cartwright had 15 assists and one turnover.

“That’s a heck of night from that position,” Miller said.

After three games in three days in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, Miller said the Wildcats needed a break and a couple days to get back on Tucson time; he added that he wasn’t satisfied with their practicing until Monday.

“I don’t want to use that at all as an excuse, but it’s not an easy thing to juggle early in the year,” Miller said. “I think that’s why some coaches aren’t playing in exempt tournaments, because everybody knows it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on everybody, but I believe we’ll be better long-term, having gone through it.”

Center Kaleb Tarczewski had 10 points and seven rebounds. Power forward Brandon Ashley had seven points and eight rebounds before fouling out.

The Wildcats out-rebounded the Runnin’ Bulldogs 43-27.

“I thought Arizona was terrific tonight, and they have a great team,” Gardner-Webb head coach Tim Craft said. “They were making shots at a high level, and they were making 3’s.”

The Wildcats ran their winning streak in nonconference regular season games to 34.

“It’s really, really hard to do,” Miller said. “I never say, ‘Ah, it doesn’t mean anything.’ It means a lot.”

When asked about being perfect against non-Pac-12 Conference teams so far in his three-year career, York literally knocked on wood with his hand on the press conference podium.

“At the end of the day, we just have to worry about the next game and we have to accomplish as a team,” York said, “and we have to get better over the next couple of games, because we know who’s coming in here on Saturday.”

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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