Arizona vs. New Mexico State: Wildcat Freshmen Step Up In 83-76 Win

Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson had huge games, while Jesse Perry recorded a double-double.

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Arizona vs. New Mexico State Score: Wildcat Freshmen Step Up In Huge Road Victory

The Arizona Wildcats were at a crossroads on Tuesday night. After two straight losses and the roughest stretch of schedule approaching, a road win over the New Mexico St. Aggies was critical. It wasn't pretty for the full 40 minutes, but UA was able to come away with a 83-76 victory.

Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson, two of the most heralded freshmen to ever arrive in Tucson, had huge games. Turner had the best performance of his career and scored 12 points, brought in six rebonds and dished out four assists. He fouled out and committed four turnovers, but the Wildcats were a completely different team when the point guard was on the floor. Nick Johnson scored 19 points in the first start of his career and threw down multiple highlight reel dunks in front of a sellout crowd in Las Cruces.

Jesse Perry continued to be a double-double threat and ended the night with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Solomon Hill also had the best game of his season, contributing with 12 points, six rebounds and a team-high seven assists. Hill is undoubtably the best player on the team and the strides he has made since last season are remarkable.

New Mexico State was led by Wendell McKines, who scored 28 points in 31 minutes of play. Christian Kabongo recorded 15 points, while Hamidu Rahman dominated the paint with 13 points and eight rebounds.

This Wildcat team remains a work in progress, but this is a huge win for the program. UA will return home and take on the NAU Lumberjacks on Saturday afternoon.

For more on the Wildcats win, visit AZ Desert Swarm.


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Arizona vs. New Mexico State Score Update: Wildcats Lead After Wild Half Of Play

After a half of play, the Arizona Wildcats lead the New Mexico St. Aggies by a score of 44-40. The first twenty minutes featured plenty of 3's, high-flying dunks, and (maybe) three defensive stops. UA seemingly outplayed NMSU for most of the half, but the team was unable to pull away and will have a fight on their hands in the second half.

Nick Johnson, who is made the first start of his career, leads the Wildcats with nine points and Solomon Hill has done a little bit of everything with eight points, four rebounds and three assists. Hill picked up his third foul late in the half. Jesse Perry has been a force in the paint, scoring seven points and bringing in four rebounds. And in news no one saw coming, Kyryl Natyazhko hit two jumpers coming off the bench.

New Mexico State raced out to an early 10-2 lead, but they faltered once the bench came in. Wendell McKines leads the way with 13 points and has his three 3's thus far. The Aggies' two big men, Hamidu Rahman and Tshilidzi Nephawe, have dominated in the paint and combined for 13 points and eight rebounds.

Arizona is clearly the more talented team, but it will come down to which team digs in on defense for the second half. If the Wildcats don't make adjustments, they could fall for the third consecutive time.

For more on the game, head on over to AZ Desert Swarm.

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