Arizona Basketball Holds Off Valpo's Late Charge In Season Opener

Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats gestures from the sidelines against the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The No. 16 Arizona Wildcats got off to a bit of a rocky start, but still comfortably won their opening game of the season against the Valparaiso Crusaders.

The Arizona Wildcats are going to have a tough time duplicating last season's run to the Elite Eight without departed star Derrick Williams, but they still got off to a good start in their season opener. On Monday night, Sean Miller's team defeated the Valparaiso Crusaders by a final score of 72-64. The No. 16 Wildcats are in the process of getting some talented freshmen settled into their team, and it showed as they struggled to put away Valpo easily in Bryce Drew's first game as coach.

Valparaiso kept things close in the first half, going into the locker room down by only two points, but Arizona's defense forced a number of turnovers early in the second half as they extended their lead. Senior Kyle Fogg was the Wildcats' leading scorer with 16 points, while highly touted freshman Nick Johnson scored 14 and led Arizona with six assists. 

At one point, with just under three minutes remaining, Valpo was down 66-46. They made an impressive late surge to make the score look a little more respectable, but ultimately came up short as the deficit proved too large to overcome in such a short period of time. 

Arizona will play two more games against opponents they will be heavily favored to beat, Duquesne and Ball State, before taking a step up in competition to face St. John's and San Diego State in late November.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.