Unbeaten Arizona outlasts Gonzaga in OT

Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona's winning streak at McKale Center survived a stiff test from Gonzaga, as the third-ranked Wildcats stole a 66-63 win in overtime from the No. 9 Bulldogs in a battle of unbeatens.

These programs matched up in the NCAA Tournament in March, and Saturday's top-10 showdown oozed that madness feel, albeit with a pro-Arizona crowd on hand.

The Wildcats (8-0) trailed most of the day, but a Brandon Ashley jumper late in regulation forced overtime. T.J. McConnell scored six of his 12 points in the extra session, and Arizona won its 26th straight on its home floor.

"We could have lost just as easily as we won," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "We just had individual players step up and make big plays to push us over the top."

Gonzaga (7-1) committed five turnovers in OT but still had a chance to pull even after Elliott Pitts fouled Byron Wesley shooting a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining.

Wesley, though, airballed his first attempt and missed the next two to end the Bulldogs' chance at an upset.

Ashley finished with 14 points, while Stanley Johnson and Kaleb Tarczewski netted 11 apiece for the Wildcats.

Kyle Wiltjer paced Gonzaga with 15 points, and Przemek Karnowski recorded a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause.

A meeting between two of the top point guards in the country -- McConnell and Kevin Pangos -- manifested into a showcase of both program's balanced lineups.

McConell was the hero in overtime but only assisted on two baskets and missed four of his seven free throw attempts. Pangos shot just 3-of-10 from the floor and totaled eight points with six assists.

A pair of McConnell baskets opened the scoring in OT to give Arizona its first lead since it was 15-14. Pangos answered with a 3-pointer, but the senior guard turned it over the next time down.

McConnell split a pair of trips at the foul line inside the final 20 seconds to set up a tense finish.

Pangos narrowly missed a potential tying 3, and Wesley grabbed the offensive rebound, dribbled back to the top of the key and was fouled by Pitts.

A tight first half saw six lead changes and three ties, and Pitts made an open 3-pointer in the final minute to send the teams into the break knotted at 27- all.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the second half, but their largest lead was only six points.

Wiltjer's bucket off the offensive glass gave Gonzaga a 56-52 advantage, and two Johnson free throws followed by an Ashley bucket pulled Arizona within two with three minutes left in regulation.

After Domantas Sabonis made two at the foul line, Ashley connected on back-to- back jumpers from the top of the key to even things at 60-60 heading into the final minute.

McConnell stripped Pangos in the lane, but Gonzaga got the ball back when Johnson was whistled for traveling at the other end.

Gary Bell, Jr. missed a contested layup, and after the rebound was knocked out of bounds, Wiltjer back-rimmed a corner 3-point try at the buzzer.

Game Notes

Arizona ousted Gonzaga, 84-61, in the NCAAs round-of-32 in March ... Sabonis had a string of 14 consecutive made field goals come to end on a missed runner 3:18 into the second half ... Both teams committed 13 turnovers.