The Stanford Cardinal put a major scare into the No. 1 team in the nation, but in the end the Arizona Wildcats escaped Maples Pavilion with a 60-57 win Wednesday night to remain unbeaten on the season.
The Wildcats (21-0, 8-0 Pac-12 Conference) extended their school record for consecutive wins when Nick Johnson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 51 seconds to go and iced the game with a pair of free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining to finally finish off the stubborn Cardinal (13-7, 4-4).
Stanford led 31-30 at the half and extended their lead to seven points early in the second half before the Wildcats clawed back into the game. Arizona tied the game with 6:30 to go on a jumper by Brandon Ashley and took their first lead since it was 33-31 20 seconds into the half when Johnson knocked down a jumper with 2:35 to go.
The Cardinal tied it up with 1:21 remaining on a basket by Dwight Powell before Johnson canned his 3-ball with 51 seconds remaining.
Chasson Randle missed on a drive and fouled Johnson, who missed the front end of a one-and-one. With 13 seconds left, Josh Huestis misfired on a 3-pointer and Randle fouled Aaron Gordon, who also failed to convert the front end and Johnson fouled Randle with seven seconds left.
Randle hit the two free throws, Johnson made a pair at the other end and Randle’s 3-pointer with one second to go was off target.
Johnson led the Wildcats with 16 points and also had four assists. T.J. McConnell scored 11 points with four assists and Ashley had 10 points. Gordon grabbed nine rebounds, but was limited to five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Powell and Huestis led the Cardinal with 13 points each. Randle had 12 on 3-of-15 shooting and Stefan Nastic scored 10 points. Huestis logged 11 rebounds.
Arizona was 18-for-50 (36 percent) overall, 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range and 18-for-29 (62.1 percent) at the foul line. Stanford was 21-for-56 (37.5 percent), 3-for-12 (25 percent) and 12-for-18 (66.7 percent).
The Cardinal won the rebounding battle 38-36 and the Wildcats committed eight turnovers to just seven for the Cardinal.
Stanford hosts Arizona State Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.