Arizona found itself in a big hole early and couldn't get out of it, as San Diego State defeated Arizona 61-57 at McKale on Wednesday night.
San Diego State jumped out to a very quick 7-2 lead, capped off by a Xavier Thames three-pointer. Chase Tapley then added his own three and two plays later, James Rahon drained another. A jumper by Tapley then forced Arizona to go into the five minute timeout down 16-2. The run did not end there, however, as Solomon Hill hot a two and tapley answered with his tenth point less than seven minutes into the game.
The Wildcats cut it to 12 not too long after when Nick Johnson hit a three and Angelo Chol rebounded his missed free throw for two more, as SDSU led 21-9 with 11:53 left. After Josiah Turner scored a bucket to cut San Diego State's lead to 10, Rahon came back and hit a jumper of his own to keep Arizona from gaining momentum.
Hill hit a three-pointer a few minutes later to try to get something going for Arizona, but Deshawn Stephens and Alec Williams were both able to score, pushing the lead to 29-14 with 7:16 left in the first half. The Wildcats finally went on a run when Kevin Parrom and Jesse Perry combined for four points at the line. Hill then made a layup and Turner made a floater, as the 29-22 score forced Steve Fisher to call timeout for the Aztecs.
Hill then made two free throws to cut it to five and after two free throws from SDSU, Arizona received points from Mayes, Hill, and Turner to get into the half down 31-29. The Wildcats finished the half only shooting 31 percent to SDSU's 40, but was able to make six more free throws as well.
It took SDSU less than two minutes to extend its lead to six and force Sean Miller to call timeout, as Garrett Green and Thames hit layups. Perry came back and cut the lead to three with a three-pointer about a minute later and Arizona went back to chipping away at the Aztecs' lead.
The SDSU lead moved back to eight when Tim Shelton had a tip in and Rahon followed with a layup, as his ensuing free throw attempt missed. The nine-point lead last for seconds, as Perry made a three-pointer with 14:44 left. It seemed as if any time the UA got close, SDSU had an answer. A three by Kevin Parrom was answered by a jumper by Tapley and two threes by Jamaal Franklin to bring the lead back to 11 with a little over 12 minutes left.
Arizona received two free throws from Perry and Fogg and then a jumper by Turner to cut the lead to eight with 7:19 left. Nearly two minutes later, a blocked shot allowed Hill to get down the court and hit a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to six and bring the crowd to its feet. However, once again, SDSU came back and brought it back to nine with a three-pointer by Thames.
A three by Johnson cut it right back to six with a little over three minutes left in the half, but he turned it over seconds later on a break to give SDSU the ball with a 57-51 lead coming out a timeout with three minutes left. Tapley then hit a jumper and Rahon made a free throw to basically seal the deal.
Arizona finished the game shooting 33 percent from the field compared to 45 percent for San Diego State, which included 8-12 from behind the arc.