Nick Johnson lifts No. 1 Arizona past Michigan

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Ann Arbor, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Junior playmaker Nick Johnson buried six free throws in the last 24 seconds to help No. 1 Arizona recover from an 11-point deficit en route to a 72-70 victory over Michigan Saturday at Crisler Center.

Brandon Ashley scored 18 points on 8-for-16 shooting and grabbed six boards while Johnson, Aaron Gordonn and Kaleb Tarczewki tallied 14 points each for the Wildcats, who moved to 11-0.

Glenn Robinson III scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half, Caris LaVert added 15 while Nik Stauskas had 14 points as the Wolverines snapped a 20-game homecourt non-conference winning streak and dropped to 6-4.

Spike Albrecht contributed 10 off the bench for the Wolverines, who led by nine at the break and 11 early in the second half but withered in the crucial minutes.

The Wolverines shot an outstanding 14-for-27 from the floor for 51.7 percent while the Wildcats made 11 of 32 attempts for an anemic 34.4 percent in the first half.

Riding Robinson’s hot hands and an outstanding 6-for-11 performance from beyond the arc, Michigan took a 37-28 lead at the break.

However, Arizona slowly came back, pulling within a basket of the Wolverines on seven separate occasions.

With 2:32 left in the game, a three-point play by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put the Wildcats ahead, 63-62.

The lead was short-lived as Mitch McGary sank two foul shots but the Wildcats responded with a 6-3 run on a short jumper by Ashley and four free throws by Johnson for a 69-67 lead.

After Johnson sank two more foul shots, Albrecht buried a triple with two seconds left to pull Michigan within 71-70 but Gabe York made one of two free throws for the final count.

The Wildcats will return home for two games at McKale Center Thursday against Southern and on Dec. 23 against NAU, before taking a Christmas break heading into the Pac-12 season.

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