"The one thing you wanna see is that fight." - Sean Miller, postgame on ESPN
[note: Look for the full postgame from Quinn in the morning.]
Miller probably didn't mean the jawing that involved Sir`Dominic Pointer, Josiah Turner, and Nurideen Lindsey late in the second half. But late in the game, #15/16 Arizona showed some fight in coming from behind on the road for the 81-72 win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden.
Four players in double digits just wasn't enough for St. John's tonight. Nurideen Lindsey's fifth foul left the Johnnies without a dynamic ballhandler on the floor. It was in the middle of a 19-3 Arizona run, and the Red Storm lost the lead in the last four minutes of the late game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs Cancer.
St. John's attacked the Arizona Wildcats with a lot of toughness, rebounding around 75% of their misses. But it wasn't quite enough. Arizona was hot from the outside early and late, hitting 50% of their 28 perimeter attempts (they were 11 for 30 inside the arc - 37%). And the important component of the Red Storm defense - forcing turnovers - was negated by decent Wildcat ballhandling - they only had 10 turnovers on the night, around 15% of their possessions.
St. John's was led by Nurideen Lindsey's 18 points and 5 rebounds; D`Angelo Harrison had his stroke going early and finished with 16 points. Moe Harkless looked like a player with tons of potential, and scored 13 points with 9 total rebounds - thanks in part to good team boxing out. And Phil Greene brought serious punch, going on a 7-0 run by himself in the second half; he has 12 points overall. God`sgift Achiuwa was negated by Arizona's size.
Arizona was led by 15 from Solomon Hill, 13 by Kyle Fogg, 12 by Jordin Mayes, and 11 by Nick Johnson and Jesse Perry. The Wildcats played well, especially late. they will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in tomorrow's late game. St. John's will face the #18 Texas A&M Aggies, who lost 69-60 in the early game. St. John's and Texas A&M tip off at 4:30 in the afternoon.
There are a lot of positives, which we'll talk about in the morning.