Arizona Basketball

Johnson’s blocked shot allows No. 3 Arizona to match 1987-88 team’s 12-0 start





ARIZONA’S BEST STARTS
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Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson’s emphatic blocked shot of San Diego State’s Chase Tapley with three seconds remaining enabled the third-ranked Wildcats to beat the Aztecs 68-67 tonight in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

The victory improves Arizona’s record to 12-0, its best start since the 1987-88 team began its Final Four year 12-0. The Wildcats can become the first team to start 13-0 since the 1931-32 team began 16-0 with a victory over visiting Colorado in the Pac-12 opener Jan. 3.

Johnson’s blocked shot was retrieved by Kevin Parrom as the clock expired. Mark Lyons, playing in foul trouble most of the game, made two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to put Arizona ahead 68-67.

Tapley led the No. 17 Aztecs (11-2) with 19 points. He looked like he had an open shot down the left side of the lane until Johnson slid over and swatted the ball off the backboard. Neither team led by more than two points in the last 10 minutes.

Johnson’s feat was reminiscent of Derrick Williams’ game-saving blocked shot against Washington in 2011 at McKale Center.

2012-13 WILDCATS CHASING HISTORY

1931-32
Won 18, Lost 2
Coach: Fred A. Enke
1-0 D4 UA Alumni All-Stars 41-25
2-0 D5 UA Alumni All-Stars 34-28
3-0 D11 Dixie J.C. 41-27
4-0 D12 Dixie J.C. 54-42
5-0 D19 USC 28-26
6-0 J5 at Occidental 63-27
7-0 J6 at Occidental 53-25
8-0 J7 at LaVerne 39-27
9-0 J8 at Pomona 39-11
10-0 J15 ASU 39-20
11-0 J16 ASU 50-38
12-0 F1 at ASU 51-24
13-0 F2 at ASU 36-26
14-0 F3 at Phx Ramblers 40-25
15-0 F12 NAU 49-28
16-0 F13 NAU 37-31
1987-88
Won 35, Lost 3
Coach: Lute Olson
1-0 N27 Duquesne 133-78
2-0 N28 Michigan 79-64
3-0 N30 Syracuse 80-69
4-0 D4 Long Beach St 94-62
5-0 D6 Pepperdine 73-68
6-0 D8 NAU 77-59
7-0 D12 at Iowa 66-59
8-0 D16 Ark-Little Rock 77-53
9-0 D20 at Washington 110-71
10-0 D22 at Wash. St 89-55
11-0 D29 Michigan St 78-58
12-0 D30 Duke 91-85
2012-13
Won 12, Lost 0
Coach: Sean Miller
1-0 N11 Char Southern 82-73
2-0 N15 UTEP 72-51
3-0 N19 Long Beach St 94-72
4-0 N28 NAU 93-50
5-0 D1 at Texas Tech 85-57
6-0 D4 So Miss 63-55
7-0 D8 at Clemson 66-54
8-0 D15 Florida 65-64
9-0 D18 Oral Roberts 89-64
10-0 D22 E. Tenn St. 73-53
11-0 D23 Miami 69-50
12-0 D25 San Diego St. 68-67

Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner

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