In their first action since knocking off their rival Arizona State Sun Devils in a 91-68 win a week ago, the No. 1 Arizona Wildcats were back on the hardwood and showed zero signs of rust as they defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 69-57 at the McKale Center.
The 19th straight win for Arizona matches their longest win streak in program history set in 1993 and again in 1998.
The ‘Cats blitzed out to an 18-4 lead after the first eight minutes and took a 39-24 lead to half as Nick Johnson and Brandon Ashley combined for 21 of the Wildcat’s first half points. The duo finished with 33 points for the game. Freshman phenom Aaron Gordon finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.
“I feel we have a confident team, but in a good way,”Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “A lot of players who were part of a big winning streak last year saw how quickly it can leave you if you don’t continue to work hard and get better. I believe the mission of this year’s team is to try to be a team that really practices and shows up. Leave one game behind and quickly move to the next. So far, so good.”
The Buffs were led by Xavier Johnson who scored a game-high 21 and Josh Scott who netted 13 for Colorado who is without leading scorer and unquestioned leader Spencer Dinwiddie who was lost for the season with a torn ACL in their loss to the Washington Huskies earlier this month.
Colorado drops to 15-5 on the year and 4-3 in the Pac 12 and heads to Tempe to take on Arizona State for their Jan. 25 game scheduled for a 7:00p.m. ET tip.
Meanwhile, Arizona looks improve to 20-0 and set a program record for their longest winning streak and pick up their seventh conference when they host the Utah Utes on Jan. 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET.