Arizona rolls, remains unbeaten
Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Johnson scored 20 points to help No. 1 Arizona stay unbeaten with a 77-44 rout of Northern Arizona from McKale Center.
Johnson shot 7-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-5 from behind the arc for Arizona (13-0), which will open Pac-12 play Jan. 2 against Washington State.
"We're good, but we can get a lot better," said Johnson. "We can be the number one defensive team in the country if everybody focuses in on being that. But 13-0, we'll take that and try to carry that into conference play."
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson took advantage of his second straight start for injured center Kaleb Tarczewski with a career-high 14 points and Brandon Ashley contributed 11 points with nine rebounds. T.J. McConnell, who entered play with the fifth most assists in the nation, dished out a game-high six helpers.
Northern Arizona (3-8) had just four assists as a team. Aaseem Dixon paced the Lumberjacks with nine points.
Johnson broke an early 11-11 tie with consecutive 3-pointers to jump-start the Arizona attack. The Wildcats held NAU to just six points for the rest of the half.
Hollis-Jefferson's layup sparked a 19-0 run before Quinton Upshur finally hit a jumper for the Lumberjacks. Arizona took a commanding 41-17 edge into the break.
Northern Arizona opened the second half scoring seven of the first nine points, but the hosts responded with seven quick points to regain control.
"We did not play as well in the second half," said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. "I don't think we played as hard. I think it's difficult sometimes when you have the lead but that's no excuse."
Arizona rested its starters late as it cruised to the 33-point triumph.
Arizona has won its last 30 meetings with NAU ... Arizona committed just five turnovers while forcing 18 NAU miscues ... Arizona's Gabe York contributed 10 points off the bench with a game-high four steals.
12/24 01:20:19 ET