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Freshman standout leads Arizona over Stanford
By Bi Yu posted 1/22/15

Arizona Freshman Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Stanley JohnsonArizona wingman Stanley Johnson helped the Wildcats topple the Stanford Cardinal 89-82 at Maples Pavilion. Six foot seven Johnson, only a freshman, is juggernaut Arizona’s leading scorer and rebounder so far this season, dropping 14.6 points and 6.8 boards. Tonight he had a team-high 19 points and 7 rebounds to pace 5 Wildcats who scored double figures.

Johnson was already on the college radar coming from highly-regarded Mater Dei (Fullerton, CA) program, he stated his college career as a Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 player.  The 240-pound forward has the complete package with the maturity to let the game come to him.  The further he goes into the season the more dominant he is becoming.  He scored 22 (Colorado) and 18 points (Utah) respectively in his last two contests.

"I've seen Stanley a lot in high school," Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins stated. "He's an outstanding player it's nothing that he doesn't lack. As far as physicality he has that, athleticism he has that. He can step back and hit three-pointers, so he has range. He can also take you off the dribble and finish at the basket through contact."

Stanford battled back in the first half to go into the locker room with a 41-39 lead.  In the second half the Wildcats picked up their defensive intensity trapping Stanford all over the court. On the other side the Cardinal defense was porous which led to Arizona shooting over 55-percent from the field.

Senior Chasson Randle did all he could to keep Stanford close.  He only shot 7-of-18 from the field, but forced the issue on offense to connect on all 10 free throws to finish with a game-high 26 points.  However he didn’t have much help.  

The two fifth-year seniors Anthony Brown and Stephan Nastic were the only other player to score double figures.  Center Nastic accumulated 10 points and 6 rebounds and Brown finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, however early foul trouble didn’t allow him to get in a rhythm.  

"I think foul trouble hurt Anthony," Coach Dawkins admitted. "Anthony ended up picking up a quick two (fouls) and we went back with him as a senior and he picked up his third. So it was a very difficult night for him. His first half was hard. So he never got into a rhythm, never got into a flow of the game."

With seven minutes remaining Arizona was only up five.  Then they went on a 9-0 run to push the lead to 14 with 3:28 left.  Johnson started out with a three from the left side, senior reserve forward Matt Korcheck got a dunk, then junior Ashley scored on a lay-in.

Arizona had a balanced attack getting 17 points from Brandon Ashley, 13 from Gabe York, 12 from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and 10 from T.J McConnell.  The Wildcats bench out-scored the Cardinal 26-15, which include 7 from freshman point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright.  

The Wildcats seem to be prime for an extended trip in the NCAA tourney as their freshman continue to improve.  Johnson will surely make an impact as he puts the Wildcats on his wide shoulders. We get to see if he continues his dominance when Arizona matches up against California Saturday in Berkeley.

 

 

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