FINAL: Arizona beats Duke 72-66

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Photo courtesy of Jack White / The Chronicle.

Aaron Gordon guards Duke’s Jabari Parker during Arizona’s 72-66 win over the Blue Devils.

NEW YORK — No. 4 Arizona proved it deserved the better ranking tonight in a 72-66 win over No. 6 Duke to capture the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Wildcats (7-0) now have a 5-4 all-time record against the Blue Devils (6-2).

Overall, Arizona outshot Duke 49 to 43 percent. After going into the second half down 36-33, Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, tied the score at 45 with a three-pointer with 11:10 left in the game.

Johnson had 15 points after a slow start to the game.

Sophomore forward Brandon Ashley would then give the Wildcats a 47-45 lead just over two minutes later. Arizona never looked back, and went on a 12-3 run in the next 5:18. The largest lead Arizona had was 10 points.

Ashley ended up fouling out in the final two minutes of the contest but had 13 points. Rodney Hood’s 21 points led the Blue Devils.

While Jabari Parker (19) outscored Aaron Gordon’s 10 points, Gordon out-rebounded Parker 7-3 and had three more assists as well.

Up next, the Wildcats will face Texas Tech (5-2) on Tuesday in McKale Center.

— Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo


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