Stanford, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - No. 1 Arizona was pushed to the limit, but Nick Johnson and the Wildcats escaped with a 60-57 victory over Stanford on Wednesday to remain unbeaten on the season.
Johnson overcame a sluggish start and scored five of his game-high 16 points in the final minute, as Arizona (21-0, 8-0 Pac-12) won its 21st straight game to extend a program record.
T.J. McConnell carried the load offensively for the Wildcats early on, tallying 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Brandon Ashley contributed 10 points.
Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis each netted 13 points for Stanford (13-7, 4-4), which managed just one field goal over the final 9:58 of the contest.
"That was a heckuva basketball game by both teams," Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins said. "I thought our young men came out and gave a heckuva effort. For 38 minutes, I thought we were right there. You credit Arizona for making the plays they needed to make at the end."
Powell and Stefan Nastic, who had 10 points for the game, combined for nine quick ones to give the Cardinal an early 9-2 edge.
Arizona responded out of the first media timeout, with a pair of Ashley foul shots igniting a 16-5 spurt for the visitors. Johnson's trey at 9:24 capped the run and made it 18-14 in favor of the Wildcats.
Neither team led by more than five points until Powell's layup seven minutes into the second half made it 49-42.
Huestis' jumper at 10:03 put the brakes on a 7-2 UA run and began a Stanford scoring drought that lasted more than 8 1/2 minutes. The Wildcats had just six points over that stretch, however, with Aaron Gordon's dunk and Ashley's jumper tying it at 53-apiece and Johnson's jumper putting them in front until Powell's reverse layup tied it with 1:21 left.
Ashley missed a baseline jumper on the other end, but Kaleb Tarczewski backtapped the rebound to a wide open Johnson, who calmly sank a deep 3- pointer with 51 ticks remaining.
Johnson and Gordon each missed the front end of a one-and-one and Chasson Randle made a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to make it a one- point game. Johnson redeemed himself with two makes on his next trip to the line, and Randle's last second triple was off the mark to secure the outcome.
"If you look at the game within the game, our ability to defend at a very high level, to get defensive stop after defensive stop when the other team really needed a score, that's what we've done from day one," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said.