No. 3 Arizona wins in thrilling 68-67 win against No. 17 San Diego State
Last second block from Nick Johnson seals it for Wildcats
It wasn’t quite Derrick Williams against Washington two years ago, but sophomore guard Nick Johnson blocked a layup with three seconds remaining to give the No. 3 Wildcats (12-0) a 68-67 win against No. 17 San Diego State.
Just before the block, senior guard Mark Lyons gave Arizona its game-winning points in hitting two free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
The Aztecs led for most of the early portion of the second half, but the UA was able to overcome an 8-point deficit to break San Diego State’s 11-game winning streak against the Pac-12.
Solomon Hill led the way for Arizona with a season-high 21 points, and joining him in double figures were Nick Johnson with 11 points and Kevin Parrom, who had a season-best 17 points off the bench, including three 3-pointers.
Hill added six rebounds, and Ashley seven, but overall the Wildcats struggled a bit on the boards in being outrebounded by the Aztecs 32-29, in large part because of the struggles of freshman 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski. Arizona’s starting center finished the game scoreless and with no rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
Arizona was able to overcome its struggles in rebounding and shooting — the Wildcats were 20-of-54 overall, 4-of-18 from 3-point range — coupled with foul trouble from Lyons, by playing turnover-free basketball and with solid defense. Arizona had just eight turnovers after struggling in that area in the last couple of games.
Defensively, the Wildcats held SDSU’s best player in Jamaal Franklin to nine points on 2-of-6 shooting, although senior guard Chase Tapley did record 19 points for the Aztecs. Franklin added eight rebounds and six assists.
Lyons finished with nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, three assists, three turnovers and four fouls.
Arizona will open Pac-12 play on Jan. 3 against Colorado in McKale Center.