The Arizona Wildcats struggled throughout the first half and saw their best player (statistically speaking, anyway) get ejected just a few minutes into the second half. With Solomon Hill out of the game, the UA could have fallen apart on the road. Instead, the team started playing with a sense of urgency and broke out a 21-2 run that all-but-ended the contest in Salt Lake City. The Wildcats won 77-51.
As for Hill's ejection, he and a Utah player got tangled up while going for a ball. The two exchanged words on the next possession before Arizona came back down the court. As Arizona began to run their offensive set, Hill elbowed the Utah player in the back of the head, knocking him down to the floor. It may not have looked blatant on video, but you had a sense something was coming. The Pac-12 will announce whether or not Hill will play against Colorado on Friday.
Kevin Parrom had 12 points off the bench and played aggressively for the first time in weeks. Kyle Fogg added 12 of his own and dished out a team-high six assists. Nick Johnson had 11 points and made three 3-pointers, although he had four turnovers in the first half.
Arizona outscored Utah 44-23 in the second half.
The Utes were playing their first game without star point guard Josh Watkins, who was kicked off the team on Wednesday for violating team rules, and they struggled throughout most of the game on the offensive end of the court. Big man Jason Washburn played well, recording 14 points and six rebounds, while Kareem Storey had 10 points, five assists and six turnovers.
The Wildcats needed to win and win big on Thursday night and they flat-out dominated Utah. Next up will be the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. from Boulder.
For more on the UA, head on over to AZ Desert Swarm.