Tucson, AZ – Nick Johnson scored 17 points and Kevin Parrom added 13 points and seven rebounds to lead 18th-ranked Arizona to a 73-58 win over Arizona State on Saturday.
Solomon Hill added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists and Kaleb Tarczewski finished with nine points and eight boards for the Wildcats (24-6, 12-6 Pac-12), who had dropped two in a row entering the contest.
"We just needed to get back to our defense. It was good to see it on the floor after talking about it in practice. It was good to get after it and I think guys on our team were revved up tonight," Hill said.
With the win, Arizona secured the second seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament.
Carrick Felix scored 22 points and Jahii Carson added 15 for the Sun Devils (20-11, 9-9), who have dropped four straight and seven of their final 10 games.
"I don't know exactly what the prescription would be, but we're on the outside looking in. That's obvious," Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said.
Jonathan Gilling canned a trey with just under 11 1/2 minutes remaining to pull Arizona State within 48-43, but it was downhill from there for the Sun Devils.
Johnson scored the final seven points on a 9-2 spurt that put Arizona on top 57-45 with 8:56 to go.
Carson split a pair of free throws to make it an 11 point game, but Hill's three-point play ignited a 15-2 surge to push the Wildcats' lead to 73-50 with 2:12 left.
Arizona State scored the final eight points of the game, but it wasn't nearly enough as Arizona cruised to a win in the 224th meeting between the schools.
The Sun Devils stayed within striking distance throughout the first half, but Mark Lyons buried a trey with just under eight minutes left to spark an 11-4 run to give Arizona a 31-20 lead.
The Wildcats closed the first half with a 9-5 sequence to take a 40-25 lead into the break.
Arizona improved to 14-2 at home this season ... The Wildcats hold a 144-80 edge in the all-time series ... Arizona State was outrebounded by a 32-22 margin.